Of all the questions regarding side hustles, how to make money with a blog continues to be one of the most asked-about topics. And honestly, there’s a reason blogging continues to be so popular. It’s flexible, fun, creative, and you can blog from anywhere in the world.
And yes, you can make money from a blog too!
Whether your goal is to earn $500, $5,000, even $50,000 per month from blogging, there’s one essential step you have to take: you have to start your blog and post regularly.
Once you have some content on the site and people are visiting you can begin to monetize through ads, affiliate relationships, or selling your own products and services.
Before you monetize your blog
I know we would all like to make extra money ASAP, but before you begin earning money with a blog there are a few critical steps you need to make sure you’ve taken.
Set up your blog! This sounds a little obvious, but make sure your blog is up and running. It doesn’t have to be perfect or look like it was designed by a fancy ad agency, but it does need to function.
We highly recommend a self-hosted WordPress site. To do that you’ll need a host, and the host we recommend is Bluehost. If you want help setting this up, check out our resources for starting your blog.
Create high-quality content. You don’t have to be an award-winning writer to write great, trustworthy content. But what you do need is to post regularly and be authentic with your audience.
Not only is this a great way to run your blog as a hobby, it’s how you build trust with them. This will be even more important as you begin to monetize.
Define your niche. When you start out blogging, you may not have all the answers as to what resonates the most with your audience — and that’s ok. But as you continue to develop your content, and if making money is your goal, then you need to define the niche of your blog.
While you can literally write about anything you can dream of, there are certain niches which continue to be profitable for bloggers:
- Health and fitness
- Food and recipes
- Love and Relationships
- Wealth and Personal Finance
- Travel and travel services
- This list is only scratching the surface….
Learn to socialize. Build profiles for your site on each social media platform your audience is using. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok — all of these (and more) are great channels to connect with your audience.
Optimize your site. Optimization occurs in several ways but keep these important guidelines in mind as you’re developing your blog:
- Optimize for desktop, mobile, and tablet. Make sure your readers can find your information no matter what medium they’re using.
- Optimize for Google rankings. This is another lengthy subject on its own, but make sure your posts are including keywords and are included in Google search.
- Check your user experience. Make sure your site isn’t too slow. Nothing frustrates readers than not being able to pull your site up quickly!
This is hardly the most exhaustive list of tips for getting started with a blog. However, these lay the foundation so you can begin your money-making journey with your blog.
How to Make Money From a Blog
So let’s dive into the various income streams you can use to earn money from your blog. Almost all of these are appropriate whether your blog is in the beginning stage, or if you’ve been doing this for several years.
1. Affiliate income
Affiliate income is one of the best ways to start monetizing your blog. But what exactly does this mean?
When you become a product affiliate, you’re adding links to your blog for customers (your readers) to gain more info and hopefully purchase. If your reader clicks on your specialized affiliate link and makes a purchase then you will receive a commission on the sale.
You can work directly with companies (or other influencers) that have an affiliate program, but one of the most popular ways is to work with an affiliate marketing company. These are companies such as:
Through these networks, you’ll have access to a variety of brands. Your site could be approved to promote the affiliate links, and then you’ll be on your way to earning commissions.
Adding affiliate links to your blog isn’t hard at all. But what you don’t want to do is come across as spammy and creating the wrong impression you’re willing to sell anything. You want to use affiliate links correctly.
The best way to avoid looking spammy is by working with brands that make sense for your audience. Make sure every affiliate is truly helpful to your readers.
2. Sponsored posts
Another way to earn money from blogging is to run sponsored posts on your sites. This is where you partner with a product, company, or brand and they pay you to promote something specific.
You can personally solicit companies for partnership ideas, or you can work with marketing companies who do this sort of thing all day long. Some of the more popular companies include:
We also like Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and Alexis Schroeder’s course bluehost
Making Sense of Sponsored Posts to walk you through the process of sponsorship. They are two bloggers who have learned to make a nice living with sponsored posts, and they teach you step-by-step on how to tap into this lucrative field.
3. Display ads
Display ads are another very common tool used to monetize your blog. Simply put, this is when you allow ads to be displayed on your site. With display ads, the two most common methods of earning are:
- CPC (cost–per–click): You are paid based on the number of people who click on your ad
- CPM (cost–per–impressions): You are paid based on the number of views an ad gets on your site
For beginners, you can start with Google Adsense. There are a series of steps you go through to incorporate the ads on your site, but it’s fairly straightforward. This is a good fit for beginners because Google Adsense doesn’t have a monthly view requirement.
If your site is steadily gaining popularity and you have a steady amount of monthly views, then you can apply with other display ad companies.
You should note, you won’t get rich off display ads. However, this is an easy way to begin monetizing your site and help recoup some of your minimal startup costs.
4. Offer freelance services
Are you skilled in a particular subject where you could get paid to complete a task for someone else? You could add freelance services to your portfolio and use your blog to attract new clients.
You can find freelancers for almost anything:
- Graphic design
- Marketing services (Facebook ads, Google Ads, Pinterest marketing)
- Website design
- Social media
- Whatever else you can get paid to do
A blog is an excellent way to offer and advertise your freelance services. You can set up your blog to include your portfolio, your contact information, and details on how you help clients.
5. Sell digital products
It’s no secret people like to get their information instantly. And when you have loyal readers to your blog, you can give them more by selling digital products.
Digital products come in all shapes and sizes. If you can create it, then it can be sold on your blog. Examples of popular digital products include:
- Planners and calendars
- Organizational tools
- How-to guides
- Stock photography
- Coloring pages
- Checklists and To-Do lists
Does this sound like a lot? That’s because digital products are only limited by your imagination. If there is something your readers want, then create it for them digitally and sell it. Remember, if you can help your reader solve a problem and you’ve built trust with them, then think of products that would benefit them.
6. Create a digital course
Similar to offering freelance services, if there’s a particular skill you’ve mastered then why not teach people how to use it in their own life?
You can teach a course on anything. And by anything, I mean absolutely anything. It doesn’t have to be a business or education topic. It can be gardening hacks, setting up a home brewery, improving your calligraphy skills, decluttering your closets quickly. You get the idea.
Yes, people can likely look up the information from anywhere. But when you create a digital course, you are giving them all the information they need in one stop. They don’t have to search. Plus, if it’s on your blog, then your readers hopefully trust you more than they would someone else.
You can offer the course through your blog, or you can partner with platforms such as Teachable.
Here’s how to create an online course.
7. Create a subscription service
Similar to the idea of creating a digital course, you could also offer a subscription service. You could charge a monthly (or quarterly or annual) subscription fee, in exchange for providing an ongoing service.
Ideas for subscription services range from an actual product (beauty, skincare, clothes, books, etc.) to a business or educational item.
Although lucrative, you’ll constantly have to maintain and update your offerings each month so your customers continue to stay engaged and interested.
8. Offer coaching services
If the commitment of a monthly subscription doesn’t interest you, consider offering coaching or consulting services. This way, you can block your time accordingly while getting paid to share your expertise.
If you think coaching is only for those who are certified in something, think again. Think about an area you are highly skilled in and can help someone solve a problem. You could offer services for:
- Personal finance obstacles (creating a budget, paying off debt, getting started with savings)
- Nutrition and exercise
- Career choices and changes
- Social media audit
- Website audit
Your blog should help build trust with your audience. So when they need advice for a specific topic, they can turn to you and you can get paid.
It’s important if you do offer coaching to be very specific about what your client will receive. You can go into great detail on your blog so there’s no confusion upfront about what you’re offering.
9. Run Facebook Ads
There’s another aspect of growing both your audience and your business with your blog and that is through the use of Facebook ads.
Running Facebook ads can help you in several ways. First, you can use ads to drive traffic to your website. If you are able to gain their trust through high-quality content, then the more they are likely to purchase something from you.
Second, once you are comfortable with the process and have seen results, you can offer Facebook ad services on your website. Why not help others achieve the same success if you’ve experienced it with Facebook ads?
Of course, knowing how to run a successful Facebook ad campaign can be challenging. We highly recommend you take a course, like the Facebook Side Hustle Course or the Facebook Ads for Bloggers, so you don’t waste your time running failed campaigns.
At Laptop Empires, we’ve seen so many bloggers achieve new levels of traffic and monetary growth by taking one of these helpful courses. There’s no reason why your blog couldn’t benefit in the same way!
Final thoughts on how to make money with a blog….
As you can see, there are several paths you can take to earn money from your blog. And you don’t have to stop at one either — you can use several of these methods and determine what works best for you and your readers.
So yes! You absolutely can make money from your blog. And there’s more than one way to monetize. Once you add these ideas to your site, there is no limit to the potential of your blog to grow and earn.