How to Monetize Your Blog: A Comprehensive Guide
By Sean Tinney September 27, 2021
These days, the opportunities for making money online are seemingly endless. One of the most tried-and-true methods for generating an online income, however, is that of monetizing your blog. Whether you’re looking to earn a healthy side income or could see yourself blogging for a living, there are plenty of opportunities worth exploring.
So, just how much money can you make as a blogger—and how do you make money blogging, anyway? This comprehensive guide will explain:
- How much money you can make blogging
- How to set up your blog to make money
- Top 7 ways to make money blogging
- Collecting payments through your own landing page
How Much Money Can Bloggers Make?
The amount of money you can bring in with a blog will vary greatly, depending on a number of factors. The monetization methods you use, as well as the number of readers your blog has, will have a major impact on your income.
Your specific blogging arrangement will also influence how much you get paid. For example, if you’re hired to be a part- or full-time blogger for a company, then you may be offered a guaranteed salary. In this case, you can generally expect to be paid between $40,000 and $80,000 per year in this type of role.
If you’re a freelance blogger or will run your own blog, then your pay may fluctuate more based on your readership and monetization methods. According to FitSmallBusiness.com, the monthly income for an independent blogger can range from a couple hundred dollars per month (for a beginning blogger) to $15,000 or more per month for an established writer.
The high earning potential, paired with the creative freedom that comes along with blogging, makes this a lucrative option for many. And of course, as an independent blogger, you’ll enjoy the ability to work on your own schedule, writing as much or as little as you want.
How to Set Up Your Blog to Make Money
Now that you have a better understanding of how much money you could possibly make as a blogger, it’s time to make sure your own blog is set up for success. Specifically, there are a few things you can do in setting up and planning for your blog that will make all the difference in your earning potential.
Choose the Right Niche
Start by selecting a blogging niche that has the potential to be profitable; many of the most successful blogs out there are dedicated to a certain field, industry, or topic. When deciding on a blogging niche, consider not just your own interests, but your target audience and the popularity/relevance of your interests.
Ideally, you’ll want to choose a topic that you are extremely knowledgeable about and have plenty of experience with. This way, you’ll be able to bring some new and interesting insights to the table, thus setting yourself apart from other blogs on similar topics. Meanwhile, choosing a niche that you have a lot of experience with means that you’ll be able to come up with new and engaging blog ideas that have never been done before!
In addition to choosing a blogging topic that genuinely interests you, you’ll want to make sure the topic you’re choosing is relevant to a large enough audience to be profitable.
As you ponder your options, take some time to consider what your blogging audience would look like. You may also want to explore some existing blogs that are already out there covering the same niche; what could you do differently and what can you bring to the table that is unique?
Grow Your Reader Base
Once you have the general theme for your blog decided, it’s a good idea to actually get a few posts under your belt before you begin actively growing your reader base and recruiting new readers. This way, your readers will have some content to explore and consume right away; if the content is well-written, this will leave them eager for more.
So, what are some things you can do to grow your blog’s reader base—especially when you’re first starting out?
Take advantage of the outlets you already have with existing followers, such as social media and email lists. Create posts on social media that advertise your new blog, and provide direct links to individual blog posts that will promote clicks and shares. Meanwhile, consider sending out an email blast to your list that introduces your new blog and encourages people to check out your first few posts.
Related: See How One Blogger Gained 120,139 Email Subscribers
Build Your Reputation
One of the keys to success as a blogger is establishing yourself as a respected leader within your field or topic. Obviously, this is not something that can be done overnight; it’s something you’ll need to work on over time through regular posting of new content. However, there are some other steps you can take to further build your credibility in your field.
Consider, for example, exploring some guest-blogging opportunities within your niche. This means writing guest blogs for other industry sites that have a large reader base. This is an excellent way to gain some additional exposure while boosting your credibility.
And of course, most guest blogging opportunities allow you to include a writer bio with a link back to your own blog, so this can be an excellent way to increase blog traffic.
Expand Your Reach
The more people you can get following your blog and reading new posts, the better the chance you’ll have at successfully making money. In order to expand your reach, however, you may need to get a bit creative.
One of the best ways to expand your blog’s reach is to focus on search engine optimization (SEO) each time you craft a new blog post. Specifically, SEO refers to the strategic steps you take to increase your blog’s recognition and ranking within the search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are many small yet effective steps you can take to optimize your blog for SEO (and thus increase the chances of more readers stumbling upon your blog), such as:
- incorporating relevant keywords into your title and content
- conducting research on long- and short-tail keywords
- crafting new blog topics around popular search queries
In addition to SEO, you can continue driving traffic and growing your reader base by using social media. Make sure you’re sharing new blog posts on all your social media outlets as they become published, as this can drive readership. You’ll also want to ensure that each of your blog posts has a “share” button that allows readers to easily share the post on their own preferred social media page, as this can bring in new readers as well.
If your blog is part of a larger website, take time to promote your blog on the home page and elsewhere throughout your site. Make it easy for potential readers to find your blog and even be alerted of new posts with an opt-in form that will send out email alerts for new content.
Keep Readers Engaged
Building a solid reader base is key to making money as a blogger. After all, the more readers you have, the higher your earning potential will be. However, you will not be able to maintain your income as a blogger unless you keep your readers engaged and coming back for more.
There are plenty of ways to keep your readers up-to-date and engaged with your latest content as it becomes available, but one of the most effective ways is to set up an email newsletter (if you haven’t already). Specifically, subscribers to your blog can sign up for a newsletter by providing their email address in a sign-up form that you include at the bottom of each blog, on your home page, or elsewhere on your site.
When you post new content to your blog, you can send out a newsletter update to your subscribers so they never miss a post. Setting up a newsletter is easier than you might think—and there are even options to set one up without the use of an email list.
You might consider, for example, integrating Real Simple Syndication (RSS) into your blogs. This allows you to publish your posts directly to an RSS feed that your subscribers have installed on their devices. When posts are added, your RSS subscribers can also be automatically notified without the need for an email address.
Top 7 Ways to Make Money Blogging
Once you have a solid reader base, you’ll be in a solid position to actually start making money off your blog. Now sure how to monetize a blog? There are a number of options to consider.
1. Incorporate Advertisements
One way to monetize your blog is to incorporate advertisements into your posts; this can be done easily through Google AdSense, which is a program that will automatically insert ad spaces into your blog that are relevant to your keywords and topics. From there, you will earn money each time your readers view and/or click those ads.
Advertisements can be a significant source of income for many bloggers—especially for those whose blogs receive heavy visitor traffic on a daily basis. After all, the more people you have visiting your blog, the more likely your ads are to be viewed and clicked on.
If you decide to go this route for monetizing your blog, you’ll still need to focus on creating quality and unique content on a regular basis. After all, you’ll need to maintain and grow your reader base in order for these ads to remain a consistent source of income.
You may also have more success with advertisements on your blog if you take time to do keyword research and craft blog topics based on the keywords your audience is most often searching for.
2. Try Affiliate Marketing
Another popular way to make money blogging is through affiliate marketing. When you get into affiliate marketing, you blog to recommend or review a product/service in exchange for a referral commission. For example, if you start a parenting blog and want to get into affiliate marketing, you might receive a free sample of a new baby swaddle from an up-and-coming company.
From there, you will take the time to use and review the new product, writing a detailed blog post about the product and your experience with it. Within your blog post, you will include affiliate links for your readers to purchase the product if they are interested in it. Each time a reader makes a purchase through your affiliate link, you receive a certain percentage of the sale.
As you can probably imagine, the profits for affiliate marketing can add up very quickly—especially if you have a large reader base.
How do you get started in affiliate marketing? If you have a large enough following and a strong reputation in your field, there’s a good chance that companies will be approaching you with affiliate opportunities.
You can also look into AWeber’s referral program; this program is a great fit for those who are passionate about digital marketing, motivated to help other entrepreneurs succeed, and looking to create an additional stream of revenue through blog writing.
Specifically, you could write about setting up a newsletter, building a landing page, and sending emails. And how that can help bloggers and business owners within your industry.
You can earn 30% recurring payments each month for the lifetime of each account referred with AWeber. To get started simply sign up, then start spreading the word..
3. Book Speaking Engagements
As you build a reputation within your industry and become widely known as a thought leader through your blog, you might also be able to earn income through public appearances and speaking gigs. No matter what field your blog is in, there’s a good chance that there are annual conferences and other events that need speakers to attend.
If you can get a public speaking gig through one of these conferences (or through another opportunity), you might be surprised at how much money you can make just by speaking for even 30-60 minutes on a topic you’re passionate about.
Of course, you will need to be comfortable speaking in front of a crowd—and it probably wouldn’t hurt to sharpen up your public speaking skills if you haven’t done any similar presentations recently.
Still, you don’t need to be a professional public speaker to make money as a presenter at conferences and other events. Don’t wait to be approached and invited to speak, though; there is nothing wrong with reaching out to event organizers directly and letting them know that you’re available to present.
Even if you don’t land any paid gigs right away, you can always host your own workshops (either for free or for a nominal registration fee); this is a great way to gain experience and build your reputation even further as a presenter.
4. Bundle Content Into a Course or eBook
There is a huge market for eBooks and online courses these days—and you actually don’t need extensive experience to create a profitable course or eBook. In fact, blog posts often make for excellent content that can be easily repurposed into an eBook or online class.
Consider, for example, bundling several of your most successful blog posts and making them into an eBook that you can sell for a profit. There are plenty of great and easy-to-use tools that allow you to put an eBook together without previous experience (this includes tools for creating book covers!).
From there, you can simply make your eBook available for purchase on your website or landing page and promote it through other avenues as well. You might even consider submitting your eBook to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for added exposure and earning potential.
Likewise, you can use some of your existing blog content to craft an online course that will interest your readers and teach them a new skill. The nice thing about online courses is that they don’t require much (if any) more work than an eBook to create—yet you can typically sell them for a much higher price point.
The main thing to remember with an online course is that you will probably need to develop and create some supplemental content to go along with your existing blog content. This may include anything from slideshow presentations and videos to infographics, templates, and other supporting material that will appeal to a wide range of learners.
There are plenty of tools that can help you build your online course and even publish it. One option is with AWeber’s landing page builder. Once your course is live, you can promote it through your own website, on social media, and elsewhere to further monetize your blog content.
5. Offer a Paid Subscription
Today’s readers love exclusive content; many of them will even pay out of their own pockets if it means they’ll have access to content that your everyday blog readers do not.
If you have a fervent enough reader base, then, you might consider offering a paid subscription service for those who want access to an even larger and more exclusive library of content.
Your members, for example, might receive longer-form blog posts that are not otherwise published on your blog. They might even receive exclusive video content, podcasts, and other downloads in exchange for their paid membership.
The nice thing about these paid subscriptions is that they can be an ongoing source of revenue for as long as you have subscribers. You can charge by the month or even offer a small discount to those who will pay up-front for a year of special content.
6. Explore Freelance Writing Opportunities
As you become more skilled as a blogger in your own niche, you might want to explore some freelance opportunities in other industries. After all, blogging is an in-demand skill—and many businesses are willing to pay good money to freelance writers who can deliver quality, unique, and engaging content in a timely manner.
If you’re looking to earn some additional income as a blogger, then, be sure to explore freelancing as an option. You can even post on your blog or website that you are looking for new opportunities and are willing to take on new blogging projects; from there, people can reach out to you and discuss specific terms/payment.
This can be a great way to bring in additional income while expanding your blogging skills to other industries or topics! And of course, you have the freedom to take on as many (or as few) freelance gigs as you want. You can also set your own pricing (which, by the way, most freelance bloggers charge per word).
If you decide to go this route, just make sure you have a reliable way of collecting and securing payments from your clients.
Many freelance bloggers, for example, will require an up-front deposit (sometimes 50% or more) before content is delivered, with the remainder to be paid after the post is published.
7. Sell Sponsored Content
Sponsorships are another option to consider when it comes to monetizing your blog. This is actually a popular money-making alternative for those who may not feel comfortable using paid ads on their website. The concept is similar to that of affiliate marketing in many ways, with the exception that a sponsorship pays you for the actual blog post—not necessarily for sales generated directly as a result of a blog post.
In most cases, sponsored content will involve writing a review, summary, or “how-to” on a product that your sponsor would like to promote. In exchange for your post, you will receive compensation directly from the sponsored business (and of course, you can negotiate your own terms here).
If you decide to go this route, there are some important things to keep in mind, especially from a legal standpoint. The most vital thing to know is that in the United States, you need to clearly disclose that your content is a paid sponsorship. This is a requirement set forth by the FTC, and you can actually face some pretty severe fines and penalties if you fail to comply.
Generally, you’ll have the most success selling sponsored blog posts if you already have a large following on your blog. After all, businesses will be more likely to pay decent money for a sponsored post if they know the post will reach a large audience. This is where really taking the time to build up and maintain a large readership base can make all the difference, then.
How do you get started in selling sponsored blog posts?
If you already have a large following and are established in your field, you could reach out directly to companies in your industry to see if they would be interested in a sponsorship.
In some cases, you might even find that companies will approach you directly with these opportunities. From there, it’s a matter of nailing down the details and deciding how much you will be paid for such a post.
Accept Payment on Your Own Landing Page
Whether you decide to offer paid subscriptions or even choose to sell an eBook/online course derived from your blog, it’s important that your site is set up to accept payments directly from your landing page. This is the hands-down best way to make it easy for your readers to make purchases, which can increase your profits in-turn.
Not sure how to set this up? There are plenty of tools that make it easy to sell a subscription or accept payments directly through your website or landing page. AWeber, for example, allows you to start accepting payments for your products or services. Using the easy to use drag-and-drop landing pages builder, which includes all the tools you need to start selling, you can make your content even more accessible to your most dedicated readers and customers.
The Final Word on How to Make Money Blogging
As you can see, there are many ways to go about setting your blog up for success and making a profit off of your posts. From paid advertising and affiliate marketing to creating eBooks and online courses, the possibilities for your blog are truly endless.
At the end of the day, as long as you are taking the time to craft truly engaging and useful content for your reader base, you’ll have the following you need to be successful and profitable.
From there, it’s just a matter of keeping that momentum going and figuring out which monetization strategies are best suited to your needs.
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