Not so long ago, the idea of actually making money from blogging – and it even providing one’s sole or principal income – might have seemed fairly ridiculous.
Those days, however, are probably gone forever. All manner of individuals and organisations are now maintaining a blog and generating money from them.
So, what are the best routes to monetising your own blog? Below are just five possible ways to make money from your blog.
The idea behind affiliate marketing is that a blogger links to or otherwise recommends a particular product or service, and if someone purchases that product or service as a result of clicking from the blog, the blogger gets paid.
It’s one of the go-to ways of making money from a blog, and yet, it’s also one that non-bloggers often don’t know much about. When the blogger does get paid due to a visitor clicking through to buy a product or service, they typically receive either a percentage or flat-rate commission.
You might, for example, write a blog post reviewing a product, and include a special tracking link that the reader could click on to buy the product. Crucially, the customer pays the same price, whether or not they buy from clicking on this link.
Sell your own physical or digital products
If affiliate marketing – in effect, helping to sell other people’s goods on their own online stores – doesn’t seem like the right match for your blog, why not turn your blog into its own online store?
Obviously, this will entail you setting up some means of accepting online payments. But it can be a good option for many bloggers, whether they ultimately end up selling physical items such as mugs or T-shirts with their logo, or a digital product such as a digital ‘how to’ guide on a subject relevant to their blog. You could even partner with a pay-per-click agency such as Rigorous Digital to help draw attention to the products you sell through your blog.
Display adverts with Google AdSense
Although AdSense isn’t the only ad network that bloggers use to place ads on their site, it is one of the best-known ways to monetise a blog.
It’s simple – if you accept the placement of banner ads on your blog, you just need to register for AdSense and add the ad code to your blog. Google will then display ads on your site that are relevant to what you blog about and – by extension – what your readers are interested in.
You can then be paid whenever someone clicks on your ad (cost per click) or even if someone merely views it (cost per impression).
Accept sponsored blog posts from others
You might not be keen on the idea of displaying ads on your blog, given how visually obtrusive they can be. There is, though, another, subtler option for generating money from your site: selling sponsored posts.
This involves a brand that wishes to promote itself through your blog paying you to write a post about them. Brands are attracted to sponsored posts because it can get them and their offerings in front of blog audiences in a manner that might be less annoying than conventional ads.
It’s also important, however, to know what the laws are in your part of the world about sponsored blog posts. Regardless, it’s widely seen as good practice to make clear to your readers when a given blog post of yours is a sponsored one.
Become a freelance blogger
If you love blogging anyway, why not effectively turn your blog into a giant advertisement for your blogging services? That’s right – simply by adding a ‘hire me’ page to your blog, you can attract the interest of clients that might be prepared to pay you to blog for them.
Well, OK, it’s not necessarily quite that simple, as it also helps to have a pre-existing strong reputation in a particular field. That’s where your own blog comes in. If, for instance, your blog focuses largely on financial advice and ways for people to save money in their day-to-day lives, a client might pay you to blog about a related subject on their own site.
There you go – just five of the many possible ways to make money from a blog. Combine several methods from the above list instead of following just one, and you’ll be able to make your blog income even more resilient amid changes in demand for your services over time. Good luck!