Blogging as a business is something more and more people are realizing is a viable way to earn a living… but lots of people have one question, “How do bloggers make money?”
The opportunities to create income as a blogger are endless. You don’t even have to have thousands of people following you on social media to earn income.
There are several opportunities to create income, and you get to choose which one fits you best. It can be a mix of some, or all, of these different streams of income.
1. Ad Networks
When you are on a self-hosted blog, post consistently, create valuable content and optimize for SEO you are setting yourself up for success to apply to have an ad network on your site.
What is an ad network?
An ad network is an online advertising network company that connects advertisers to websites that want to host advertisements. The primary function of an ad network is an aggregation of ad supply from publishers and matching it with advertiser’s demand.
An ad network will place ads on your website that readers will see when they come to your site. They don’t even have to click on the ad in order for you to earn revenue. Bloggers get paid simply because the advertisers pay to have their ads on your site and you earn a portion of that.
What ad network is the best?
We have 2 recommendations for ad networks. We have experience with both companies so we know how they work and therefore have a personal testimony for how well they do for us. Jennifer has two websites, one on each network. Amy’s blog in on Mediavine.
The ad networks we recommend are:
They each have different traffic requirements that must be met in order to apply but we strongly suggest focusing on increasing traffic to get on one of these ad networks instead of making significantly less money and slowing down your site speed on another ad network such as Google AdSense.
2. Affiliate Sales
An affiliate is when a blogger works with a company or a brand to promote their product and the blogger will earn a portion of each sale that they refer.
Many affiliate opportunities offer the blogger a discount code that can be shared with readers and followers and a special link to be used in order for sales to be tracked.
Many companies have affiliate programs, so reach out to companies that align with your niche, or products you use and inquire about affiliate opportunities that they may have available.
Being an affiliate is a nice way to generate income each and every month simply by sharing products that you use.
3. Sponsored Posts
Bloggers can generate income by working with brands on sponsored posts. Posts can be done on your blog, social media or both. (We ALWAYS recommend sharing on your blog because that content lives on forever, social media does not.)
Sponsored posts can be acquired a few different ways.
- The brand (or recruiter) can reach out to the blogger directly and offer a campaign that will detail what content they would like created and promotion required of the content. They will usually have compensation listed for what they require for the campaign.
- Bloggers can reach out to brands and create an offer based on what you would like to create and what your rates would be for the project.
- Anytime you can create a long-term relationship with a brand that’s a plus! That shows consistency to your readers and it also provides income multiple times instead of just for one campaign.
4. Create your own course
Do you have something that you could teach others? Create a course!
Creating a course is a great way to generate income and also connect with your target audience and help provide them a solution to a problem they are having. One of the main purposes of being a blogger is to create valuable content that helps others… courses are a great way to diversify income and help others!
We created our course, The Ultimate Blog Bootcamp, to help people who want to learn how to blog and need help with setting up a blog and someone to coach them along the way. We discovered this need as we were both bloggers ourselves and then decided to branch out to create a course. We absolutely love the people we meet and are able to help with our course!
There are all kinds of things you can create a course to help others for. Some ideas include:
- Meal planning
- Wellness topics
- Personal Growth
- the list could go on and on!
Brainstorm things you are passionate about and know you could teach others. You don’t have to be a total expert to have a course. You just need to know 1% more than the average person about the topic in order to teach. Don’t rule this option out because it could provide generous income and create a lot of joy for your business!
Do you have a topic you want to dive more in detail about? Do you feel like there is a topic that people ask you for more guided direction on? Create an e-book!
E-books are a great way to give your readers more content than what you can provide in a blog post, and it can be passive income for you on your website. E-books can also be at a lower price point to generate more sales.
E-books can also be offered for free but if you choose to not charge for your e-book we highly encourage you to require them to join your email list in return for your e-book. Working on your email list is very important for growth!
6. Freelance work
Do you like to write blog posts? Do you enjoy photography and would consider working for others to create photography for their sites? Do you love the technical aspect of blogging and could offer assistance to bloggers who hate that part of it?
Freelance it! If you have a service that you are good at, and others need that service, you can freelance that work and earn revenue.
Amy has written blog posts for other blogs and Jennifer has done photography for others in the past as ways to use our talents to help others and expand our income.
7. Membership Plans
Do you have something you could offer to readers every month, a good or service, that would add value?
Membership plans are a fantastic way to connect with your audience and provide them something that helps them each and every month. Plus, it is guaranteed income for you each month by having a membership program for them to join.
What are some ideas for membership plans?
- Trainings- Depending on your niche you can train on different aspects each month. In the blogging industry there are lots of different membership plans for Pinterest, Instagram, blogging tips, etc. that provide support and knowledge (and networking!) with others.
- Support- Are you a coach, physical therapist, doctor, dietitian, etc? You could offer membership plans to give people access to your services each month for a flat rate cost and you have parameters for what that entails.
- Organization- Can you help others plan meals? Or can you teach tips on how to declutter your home? You could easily have a membership plan that people could utilize your services and get help from you each month!
8. Create your own product
Creating your own product is a great way to diversify your brand and also increase brand recognition. Once again, the options are endless for the different kinds of products you could create.
- Nutrition Products
- Craft sets
- Home Decor
- and the list continues….
You can sell your product on your blog and market your email list as well. You can also promote the product you create on social media and Pinterest to reach others who may find value in what you have created.
Becoming a blogger takes a leap of faith. It is hard work and when you start out it’s a lot of work for minimal (if any) return. We are confident that if you build your blog and your brand in such a way that adds value, is consistent and authentic and is optimized for search engines you can be successful.
There are many others ways that bloggers can make money so don’t think this list is it! The opportunities are great and we only see this industry continuing to expand in the years to come.