So you want to make money through your blog and turn it into a business?
Let’s not only talk about ways that you can make money with your blog but let’s talk about the BEST ways…that work for you.
Because why should we waste our time trying to monetize our blogs doing something that isn’t fun, won’t help us grow into a business, and doesn’t align with our mission, story, situation, and energy levels?
I’m a no-fluff kind of person so in this post I’m keeping it super simple and giving it to you straight. I’m going to outline 5 major ways to monetize your blog, but then I’m going to get real and tell you which ones you should focus on if you want to make a consistent income and turn your blog into a side hustle or full-time business.
5 Ways to Make Money Blogging (And Which Ones Are the Best!) Click To Tweet
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when you promote another company’s products or services and earn a commission if someone makes a purchase through your link.
Making affiliate sales all comes down to building trust with your readers and making sure they view you as someone they would take recommendations from.
The biggest mistake bloggers make is that they focus too much on popping links into posts whenever they see it as a prime opportunity to cash in.
In reality, you need to focus heavily on the benefits of whatever you’re promoting for your readers…and that’s when you’ll get them to buy.
People need a damn good reason to whip out their credit card and how it’s going to positively impact their lives.
So only promote products and services you LOVE and USE and know your audience would love and use too. You should also only promote things that align with your brand values and mission.
One other tip I’ll end this with is that affiliate income is great for extra income on the side. When you’re trying to build a BUSINESS, it’s not something you’re going to want to factor into your business plan.
If you want to know my two cents on advertisements as a source of income…it’s a waste of time!
Many moons ago bloggers could live off the income they generated with advertising. These days, it’s impossible.
Nowadays your blog needs a lot of traffic to turn a profit with ads.
With that said, it should NOT be a high priority in terms of income for your blog. Go ahead and set up ads with Google Adsense, but set it and forget it.
And don’t stress yourself out checking it every day or setting goals around it. That won’t end well.
So again, not a stable source of income aka not the route you want to focus on when you’re trying to build a side hustle or biz.
Real talk: I got my first AdSense payout recently and it was a little over $100. But the kicker is that it was up and running for over a year and a half! And I get a good amount of traffic coming to my blog every month. Yup, not a reliable source of income at all.In search of a real talk blog post about ways to actually make money? Here you go! Click To Tweet
3. Brand Partnerships / Paid Sponsorships
Working with brands is a great way to monetize your blog if you don’t want offer services or digital products (which I will get to in just a second.)
It involves collaborating with a brand or company and being compensated monetarily (or with free products) in exchange for creating content that promotes their products or services.
They can pay anywhere from $50 for an Instagram post to upwards of $2000+ for a blog post. (And these numbers probably change a lot. I’m no expert so don’t quote me.)
Now, I am NOT an expert in brand partnerships. In fact, I hate working with brands (okay hate is a strong word, but I avoid it like the plague) for a few reasons that I will save for another blog post.
If you want allll the tips on working with brands I recommend checking out my friend Katherine over at Slightly Savvy. Helping bloggers and influencers working with brands is her thing!
If you’re passionate about working with brands and that’s totally YOUR THING, go for it! I’m not stopping you or telling you it’s a bad strategy.
BUT if it makes you feel icky and just doesn’t feel good, you don’t have to work with brands! There is a whole other magical world waiting for you in points 4 and 5 (so keep reading!)
ONE LAST thing about this income stream: your income will be up and down.
You have to factor in actually landing a brand deal, actually creating the content, getting approval, and then getting your payout.
I can’t speak as someone who makes a full-time income from brand deals (which can totally be done!) but it will definitely take some time and hustle to get the cash rolling in consistently.
Plus there will be slow patches and fast patches, as you have to factor in brand budgets for bloggers and influencers. Christmas is poppin’, but the months following it…not so poppin’.
I share my personal experience working with a brand and how long it took me to get my payment (hint: I thought they were gonna scam me!) in this blog post. Working with brands is not for everyone, including me!
- Related: How I Made My First $1,000 Blogging
4. Offering Services
Boo yah. Now we’re talking about the good stuff.
Services is hands down the quickest way to make money with your blog. You technically don’t even need a blog if you can find someone willing to pay you.
After offering my first service a year ago I fell in love with how easy and quick it was (basically it’s the lazy entrepreneur’s way to make an income online!)
And the bare minimum things you need to do are 1) set up a way to get paid and 2) offer a service
There isn’t that much upfront work: you just need to create an offer and tell people it exists!
Nope, you don’t need a sales page or crazy launch strategies to make money by offering services–although they definitely help for you to scale!
Here are a few types of services to offer:
- Freelance Writing
- Virtual Assistant
- Web design
- Social media management
Seriously!! So many different ways to make an income online when you go the service route.
If you love helping and TEACHING people, then services are definitely something to look into.
Coaching is hands down my favorite service and my favorite thing I offer in my business. The connections I build with my clients and students are SO REWARDING.
And to chat with former clients months later and see how much progress they’ve made…keeps me going.I love teaching and helping people, so coaching was a natural fit for me to monetize my blog...what about you? Click To Tweet
If you want to transform your blog into a business then my 12-week group coaching program might be for you! Blog to Biz Academy opens a few times a year and you can get on the waitlist here to be the first to know when we open for enrollment 🙂
5. Selling Your Own Digital Products
If you love helping and teaching people, but don’t necessary love interacting with them and building relationships, digital products might be for you!
Creating your own digital products is a form of passive income, meaning you will have to put some work up front, but once everything is set in stone you’ll be able to consistently generate an income every month without doing any more work.
If you ever hear “making money while I sleep” they’re referring to passive income products a.k.a. digital products 🙂
The best types of digital products to sell are:
- Virtual workshops or masterclasses
- Templates (Pinterest, Instagram highlights)
- Stock photos
Looking back on my journey I’ve launched a few digital products…
- My first one was a blog audit!
- Then I launched an eBook with my step-by-step strategies to grow a profitable blogging business
- And my most recent one is a masterclass to whip your email list into shape and start bringing in subscribers
Which Income Streams Are the Best?
Okay, this is the part of the blog post where Sheila gets real!
If you want MY opinion, I recommend offering services and/or digital products.
I teach my students and clients how to market themselves online and making a profit through their blog by selling their knowledge and expertise.
Which includes offering a service (i.e. coaching or Pinterest management) or digital product (i.e. an eBook).
Services are the quickest way because all you really need to do is offer something and get someone to pay you.
They also tend to be priced higher than a digital product because you’re trading your time for a service. This means that you don’t need to sell a ton of services to meet your desired income!
Digital products are a great way to start offering a low-priced offer if that suits your audience best. It will take some work up front because you’ll have to CREATE the thing.
Pro-Tip: Instead of spending time creating something, then launching it, try pre-selling it first! That way you KNOW people want it before you spend all your time making it 🙂
But how can I make money with no traffic or audience?
I get this question A LOT and I get it. I mean, you need someone who’s willing to buy from you in order to make money, right?
Here’s the short version of my step-by-step answer to this:
- Build a strong purpose and vision for your blog
- Get clear on who you want to help (i.e. your target audience)
- Narrow your blog’s focus and choose one topic you want to become known online for
- Position yourself as the go-to girl on that specific topic by providing amazingly valuable free content (i.e. your blog and social media)
- Bring in traffic by creating a powerful Pinterest strategy
- Offer opt-in freebies that get people on your email list after they read your awesome blog posts
- Show up consistently for your audience on your blog, newsletters, and social media to earn their trust
Ready to turn your blog into a business?
I’d like to invite to enroll in a free course to kickstart your money making journey!
In this 5-day email course where you’ll get daily lessons and action steps to help you create, launch, and sell your first digital product.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Define your niche so you feel clarity about who you help and how
- Develop your signature method so you stand out from the competition
- Come up with a profitable digital product idea that sells
- Create your sales page & determine your pricing
- Plan out a successful product launch that brings in sales