If you would like to monetize your blog, you might be unsure of the first steps you can take. In this post, I will share 5 ways that you can monetize your blog.
If you have your own domain, the first thing you can look into is getting ads on your blog. Google AdSense is probably the most popular, but there are other advertising networks as well including Infolinks, RevenueHits, Media.net, Mediavine, and WordAds. All you need to do is apply to the network and wait to get accepted. Sometimes you will not get accepted right away especially if your blog is new and you do not have much content, but do not give up as you can always apply again later.
However, there are several things you need to consider when having ads on your blog. The first being that different advertising networks have different minimum payouts, which can range anywhere from $10-$100. It could take months or longer to reach the minimum payout, so you might want to consider that when choosing an advertising network to go with. Also, even if you have consistent traffic on your blog, some months you may not make as much because the rates may change. For example, many advertising networks like Google AdSense pay based on ad impressions, and one month the rate might be $3 per 1,000 ad impressions, and the next month the rate may change to $2 per 1,000 ad impressions, so the amount you make from ads will vary. Lastly, you do not want to have so many ads on your blog that it hinders the experience of your readers. You need to find a balance and not just put ads wherever you can to try and make the most money.
To sum up, having ads on your blog is an easy way to monetize your blog, but you often do not make a ton of money especially if the advertising network pays based on impressions. However, you can probably cover domain and hosting expenses with the money you make from ads.
#2 Offer Advertising Packages
If you have decent traffic on your blog, you can offer advertising and charge bloggers and websites to promote them for a month. You can create a package where you will write a post at the start of the month about your advertisers for that month and include links to their blog or site, place their logo on your sidebar, and promote them on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) You can limit these packages to 5-8 bloggers a month, and when you are booked for a month, you can start booking the following months.
You can also create two or more packages and charge more for even more promotion. As far as what you should charge for the packages, I have seen bloggers charge anywhere from £3/$4 to £22/$30. You will need to find the right price for your blog as you do not want to charge too little for the time it will take you to write the post, promote them on social media, etc., but you also want to make sure you are not charging too much as you may not get as many advertisers as you would like.
If you fully book advertisers each month, you can have a pretty consistent income to rely on. It does take time though to promote that you offer advertising, talk with your advertisers for that month and see what you should include in the post, write out the post, and finally do social media promote them for a month.
#3 Write Sponsored Posts
You can also look into writing sponsored posts. You may be lucky and receive an email from a brand (my first sponsored post I wrote on 5 Ways to Save Money on Makeup I was contacted by email). However, relying just on emails is not reliable, but it can be challenging to find sponsored opportunities yourself. You can start with using networks like Get Blogged and Intellifluence. I like Get Blogged because you can start applying for assignments as soon as your blog has a domain authority (DA) of 5 (to check your DA you can use Moz). So far, I have completed 5 jobs in the past 2 years, and I am currently working on another. Even though Get Blogged is a great resource to find sponsored post opportunities, the pay often varies depending on your DA, and if you have a higher DA, you can expect to be paid more. As far as Intellifluence, I started using Intellifluence within the last two months, and I already completed 3 jobs and I am working on another two. I found the payouts for Intellifluence to be higher than Get Blogged, but there are of course brands that only want to pay $10 for a blog post and social media promotion. With these sponsored post networks you can send a pitch for relevant assignments and hope to get accepted. However, the networks do not always have relevant assignments to apply for, and you will not always get accepted, therefore, the pay can be inconsistent.
You can also search on social media for brands looking for bloggers to work with. On Twitter, you can search in the #bloggerswanted, #bloggersrequired, #prrequest, and #bloggerjobs hashtags. I do want to mention that there are some bloggers who use these hashtags to promote their own blog posts, so it can be difficult to wade through them to find opportunities. On Facebook you can join groups such as Blogger Opportunities and Influencer/Blogger Assignments & Opportunities or even groups for opportunities in your country. Get Blogged also has their own Facebook group Blogging Opportunities With Get Blogged. However, social media can be hit or miss because brands may only want to work on a gifted basis or the opportunities are restricted to UK or US only bloggers, which may not be relevant if you live outside those countries.
There are also some websites you can check every now and then including Bloggers Required, The Lifestyle Blogger UK, and Bonjour Blogger, however, I have not found any relevant collaborations through these sites, but you may have better luck than me. Lylia Rose also made a list of websites to find paid blogging opportunities for your blog, but besides the ones I have mentioned above, I have not had any experience with using them. I will say do not start joining every single sponsored post network or website because it can be difficult keeping up with them. I would recommend joining one network, see how it goes, then join another one.
Lastly, you can also pitch to brands yourself especially brands you have seen working with other bloggers. You can send an email to the brand’s pr representative letting them know who you are and what you can offer them as a blogger. It would also be helpful to attach a media kit with all your information such as blog statistics and social media accounts. If you are interested in pitching to brands, I would highly recommend Kirsty Leanne’s ebook Pitch Perfect: A Guide to Pitching Products, Payments, and Press Trips.
#4 Affiliate Marketing
Another way you can make money is through affiliate marketing, which is where you include affiliate links on your blog, and whenever someone purchases an item through your link, you earn a commission. I personally do not do any affiliate marketing, but I would recommend checking out Kayleigh Zara’s blog as she is the queen of affiliate marketing. Several posts of hers that I recommend starting off with are The First Steps to Affiliate Marketing and The 10 Best Affiliate Marketing Platforms For Beginners. Kayleigh has several eBooks on Gumroad on affiliate marketing and blog monetization that I would recommend as well.
Since I have not had any personal experience with affiliate marketing, I had a chat with Lynn from Lynn Mumbing Mejia to understand what her experience with affiliate marketing has been like. Lynn has been doing affiliate marketing for 7-8 months now, and she received her first payout in May. She told me that she is an affiliate for other bloggers when they offer to send her a digital product for free in exchange for promotion and she also joined affiliate marketing platforms. Lynn said that affiliate marketing is a great way to make income from home by recommending products that you know and love, but people can get overwhelmed into buying a lot of things they do not really need. She also mentioned that it takes a lot of work promoting, setting up tweets, adding link insertions into posts, etc. and you do not know what will make money. I was curious how much money bloggers who are starting out with affiliate marketing can make, and she said that it is realistic to expect no income at first. You first have to build trust in the community, and once you have built that trust, you can expect to make $20, $40, $50, etc. a month. Here is a wonderful quote by Lynn if you are considering affiliate marketing:
I recommend just staying true to yourself. If you feel like this product helped you or you would 110% genuinely buy the product then recommend it and attach an aff link.Lynn
Affiliate marketing can be a potential way to make a good amount of money through your blog, but you will most likely not make a lot or if any money at first, and it will take time to build trust.
#5 Sell Products and Services
Lastly, you can create your own products to sell or provide a service. Bloggers have written eBooks on blogging, affiliate marketing, email marketing, Pinterest, Instagram, SEO, keyword research, etc. They have also made courses, journals, planners, Pinterest and Instagram templates, etc. As for services, there are bloggers who create customized logos and headers, offer virtual assistance, provide Pinterest or general social media management, blog audits, coaching, etc. Of course, you should not create a product just to create something to sell. You should have experience on the topic that you think others would find useful, and you should also have experience if you are offering a service. As for where to sell your products or services, you can sell them directly on your blog or on sites like Gumroad, Teachable, Etsy, and Shopify.