If you’re wondering how to make money blogging, you’ve come to the right place.
In fact, I want to make it super clear from the start: in this 15,000 words+ guide, I’m not just going to show you how to make a few hundred dollars a month or how to make some pocket money with advertising.
My goal here is completely different: I want to show you how you can build a blog and turn it into a profitable business.
A full-time business that helps you earn upwards of $10,000 a month – and even a LOT more if you’re willing to put in the work.
The monetary investment is minimal to start with (at least compared to most types of businesses!) and the potential of a blogging business is simply HUGE.
My goal in this epic guide is to share all of the monetization tactics you can use to grow this business and turn it profitable.
How to create a sales funnel for your blog.
How to create a monetization plan for your blog.
And, most importantly, how to start earning at least $10,000 a month from your blog, in 90 days.
We’ll be going through – in great detail – all of the best blog monetization tactics (and whether it’s the right solution for you, as well as how much you can make from each strategy!).
- Why do other bloggers fail?
- How to start a blog: a quick overview
- How to pick the right niche for your blog business
- How lucrative is your potential audience?
- How to research market demand for your blog/niche
- Building a blog that makes money
- Can you really make money blogging?
- Monetizing your blog: build a sales funnel
- Monetizing your blog: timeline suggestions
- Directly on the blog:
- Digital products:
- Teach others what you know and make money
- How to make money from your blog with freelancing:
- Other monetization tactics to consider:
There are 20 different monetization tactics that you can start implementing right now – just use this guide to pick the right solutions for your business blog.
I even show you – with specific examples – how much you can potentially make from each blog monetization tactic so that you can decide for yourself whether it’s the right course of action for your blog.
Ready to become an online entrepreneur?
Disclosure: Some the links included in this guide are affiliate links on the basis of which I can earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Please know that any product, software tool or service I recommend in this article are all tried and tested by me – I would never recommend something that I don’t know for a fact, works.
Why do other bloggers fail?
A lot of people all over the world make money blogging – some make some pocket money here and there while others have built a business out of their blog and make up to $200k a month (and some, A LOT more) from their blogging business.
So yes, it can be done.
But while there are a lot of examples of people who make it, there are even more examples of those who don’t.
And in my experience, if you want to be in the first category of people, then you need to understand why the latter fail.
You’ll find a lot of information about this online; and most of the content on this topic says pretty much the same things, over and over, with slightly different words but from many different sources:
In my opinion? None of these reasons are true when it comes to blogging for money – or blogging as a business.
They might be true when it comes to those who strictly use blogging as a side-project or hobby, but not when it comes to those who want to turn blogging into a full-time job.
First, there’s passion: do you really need to be passionate about what you’re writing about?
Quite simply, NO.
Sure, it’s important to like what you’re doing to some extent (you’ll be working a lot of hours doing it so if you hate it, it might not be the best option for you!)
What you need instead is to be highly knowledgeable about the topic you choose.
And just as importantly, you need to tackle a topic that has a big enough audience – and an audience that is ready to buy.
What about content quality?
Obviously, quality is very important. You can’t have grammatical errors every few sentences or create content that is difficult to read or understand.
BUT, while quality is important, it’s just not all about the content. You can be an amazing writer, write amazing content but if it’s not the right topic or if you’re not giving real, practical advice, or you don’t know how to promote and monetize your blog, it just doesn’t matter.
Your blog will fail just as quickly as if your writing were horrid.
As for standing out/creating content that is “different” and “unique”?
For every topic and every niche you can think about, there are dozens, even hundreds (and in some popular niches, probably a lot more!) of blogs that do the exact same thing.
If you read enough blogs in the same niche, you’ll see it too: everyone is copying everyone.
So instead of trying to stand out and do something completely new, pick a niche and do it better.
Study your competition, read the other blogs in your niche and strive to be better than them.
Be more open than them, more honest, and give your own unique perspective on things.
But if these aren’t the reasons why bloggers fail, which are?
In my experience, it’s one (or both) of 2 reasons:
- You’re not putting in the work
- You don’t know how to monetize your blog and you’re not thinking of your blog like a real business
If you’re expecting blogging to be a quick and easy way to make money, you’ll be disappointed. Like with ANY business, you have to put in the work.
A lot of people might go into blogging thinking that if they write enough amazing content, the opportunities will just come to them.
If you want to truly build a business out of your blog and make money blogging, then you need to treat your blog like you would a business.
You need to put together a plan, set objectives, create a marketing strategy, boost your traffic, invest in SEO, create products and services, scale your business… and these are just some of the elements that go into a successful blogging business.
How to start a blog: a quick overview
If you don’t have a blog yet, you’re probably also wondering how to actually start a blog – luckily, it’s super easy. In fact, you can start your blog in under an hour; here are the main steps:
If you’re ready to start a blog, just head over to Bluehost to get hosting and a domain name (they’re the biggest and best in terms of hosting – plus, you get 1-click WordPress install too).
And if you want to learn exactly what you need to do in order to start a successful blog in 2020, check out my in-depth guide on how to start a blog, here.
How to pick the right niche for your blog business
As I’ve told you earlier, one of the most important aspects of building a successful blogging business is to pick the right niche.
In fact, this is the first thing you need to consider before you get to the actual money-making strategies you’ll be using to monetize your blog.
Because if you haven’t picked the right niche, you won’t make the money you want to make, because there simply isn’t enough money to be made if the customers aren’t there. Or, if the customers you’re targeting aren’t making enough money to buy more than a few one-off low-ticket items.
For example, Smart Passive Income is a great example of a highly-successful niche blog; the reason they’re so successful?
They picked a great niche – how to build an online business to generate passive income – and stuck with it; all of their blogs and resources support this:
Or Making sense of cents, another highly popular blog, which focuses on the financial side: making money online and saving money:
These are some of the most popular and most high-earning blogs around the Internet, and one of the reasons why, is that they each picked a good niche.
In other words, they picked niches that people are very interested in (saving money, making money online, generating passive income and so on).
So when you choose your blog’s niche, forget about what you’re passionate about and focus on what the market actually needs.
You need a large enough audience so that you can scale your blog and consequently, your earnings.
You need to be able to create multiple revenue streams for your blog (never rely on just one stream of income!)
That’s why, when picking your niche, studying the potential audience is essential to success. Because if the audience isn’t lucrative enough – and can’t be scaled – then you should move on to a different niche.
That’s not to say that you’ll have to change it completely; in most cases, it’s just a question of adapting that niche to suit a wider audience that has a bigger spending capacity.
How lucrative is your potential audience?
In order to target a lucrative, profitable audience, you need to first ensure that they have the spending power.
If you can only sell them cheap products – i.e. worth anything from a few bucks to a few hundred – it will be very difficult to scale your business and grow your earnings.
The only way to scale this model is by selling huge quantities of your products; and that’s very difficult to do.
But, if you go for a larger audience, one that has spending power, you can develop a host of different products and revenue streams so that you can generate large sums both through volume and through recurring, high-paying clients.
For example, you could make about $1,000 a month selling an e-book, $4,000 from affiliate, and $10,000 from 2 high-paying consulting clients.
Let’s say your idea is to show people how to make money online. That means you can create a host of digital products, such as e-books and online courses. Let’s say your e-book is $10 and your courses are $100 a pop. That means you need to sell hundreds of these products in order to make good money.
And if you want to scale? Then you constantly need to grow your sales and that’s very, very difficult to do.
There are simply not enough people to buy your products and if you’re not upselling them either, then they’ll all be one-time buyers.
And that’s just not good for business.
On the other hand, if you create products to upsell to these customers, as well as create high-value, high-price products such as consulting services for businesses, that means you can not only make more money, but you can also scale your business.
So how do you find out how profitable your audience and niche really are?
First, you need to consider their spending power: how much money, realistically, can your audience spend on products/services?
As I mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t just target people with average incomes but try to find an audience that has real spending power and/or audience that you can upsell to.
For example, you could be making half of your money with affiliates and digital products aimed at people with an average income, and the other half (and potentially more) by offering consulting services to companies and enterprises.
Then, it’s all about leveraging keyword research to see what people are searching for and what topics you should go for.
Another way to understand how lucrative the potential audience is – and what types of monetization tactics you can leverage – is to check out the competition: other bloggers in that niche. Here’s what to look for:
- How much traffic are they getting? You can easily check this information for any website or blog, using SEMRush
- What types of products/services are they offering? Check out their product and service offerings to understand what kinds of products/services you can offer as well, as well as see what different types of audiences they’re targeting
- Have they published any income reports? Search their blogs for any “income reports” – if they have any, you’ll be able to see how much they made in different months, and in some cases, you’ll even be able to see a breakdown of their earnings (some even showing how much they earned for each affiliate product/service they promote)
How to research market demand for your blog/niche
One of the most effective ways to understand what your audience searches for and what they’re interested in is to leverage keyword research.
And luckily, it’s super accessible, easy to learn and highly effective.
All you need to start with is a tool; I use – and 100% recommend – SEMrush.
This is something that I recommend you invest in from the start as you’ll need it along the way, for multiple reasons:
- To research keywords
- To help you optimize your blog for SEO
- To help improve your search engine rankings (and consequently, your organic traffic, your conversions and your email list!)
- To keep track of and improve your backlinking campaigns
- To research competitors and gain useful insights from them
It’s an important investment if you want your blog to grow and be successful. Because if you’re not targeting the right keywords, not getting enough backlinks, and you’re not ranking for quality keywords with large search volumes, then you’re not going to make enough money from your blog.
It really is as simple as that.
Back to the topic at hand, let me now show you how to leverage SEMrush (which is what I use for myself and my blog and clients) to research market demand for your blog and niche.
Once you log into your dashboard, you’ll notice all of your different options on the left-hand side of your screen, including various keyword research tools.
The best place to start is to make a list of keywords that you believe your audience would search for; since your goal is to build a blogging business, the best route to take is to focus on what you can teach them and what they would want to learn from you.
That is because, as you’ll see later on in this guide when we get to all the money-making tactics, the best ways to monetize your blog (or the vast majority of them, actually) are all about teaching your readers how to do something: online courses, e-books, consulting, mentoring, and so on.
Once you’ve got some keywords to get you started, fire up SEMRush, log into your dashboard, and click on Keyword Overview:
Let’s imagine for example that you have a graphic design blog.
One of the main things you can monetize here is the fact that there are people out there who want to become graphic designers – but have no idea what to do and where to start their journey.
That’s where your blog – and your products – can help them.
When they google ‘how to become a web designer’ and find your super-extensive guide giving them all the juicy secrets on how to achieve their goal, they’ll click and start reading.
If they like your content and find it valuable, then they’ll probably take the next step – join your list so that they can get even more tips and help from you.
And as they start engaging with you more and reading your content and your emails, you can then start selling them your products: online courses, training lessons, your e-book and so on.
But it all starts with them actually finding your content.
And even more than that, you also need to know that there are enough people who want to learn what you can teach them. Because if there aren’t, then you should try to find a different niche – or expand your niche so that you can also reach businesses, which have a much bigger spending power.
Keyword research is essential for both of these tasks – so as I said earlier, you need to invest in a good SEO tool from the start.
There are numerous free keyword research tools out there too, yes; but, and this is a big but, they’re not nearly as accurate as paid tools. And if you’re serious about building a business out of your blog, you need to know exactly how many people are searching for these keywords.
Back to SEMRush though, here’s how to properly research keywords.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the tool tells you immediately what the search volume is for that particular keyword; in this case, it’s around 1900 searches per month.
When you scroll down, you’ll also be able to see “phrase match keywords” – i.e. other keywords people are searching for (together with their search volume) that contain your initial keywords:
Plus, you can also see related keywords – and that’s where the real value is.
I recommend you export that list of keywords so that you can study it in the detail as it will help you discover other good keywords to rank for and give you better ideas.
For example, I can see that “graphic design courses” has 3,600 search volume, while another 1900 search for “learn graphic design” – and this is just at first glance.
But can you actually rank on the first page for those keywords? Or is it too competitive?
That can be another issue; if there are a lot of big, high-tier sites already claiming the first spots on those google searches, it can be very difficult to overcome them and get the top spot.
Back to the main keyword research dashboard, you can see the live organic search results that pop up for that search query on the first page (organic refers to all of the results that aren’t paid ads, which usually appear at the top of a search):
The idea here is that you want to avoid search queries that only have highly popular websites in their first page search results; sites like Wikipedia, Wikihow, Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Next Web and the like have millions of visitors and huge domain authorities which makes it very difficult – although never impossible – to surpass them in search results (domain authority, traffic and the number of backlinks are some of the most important factors for Google deciding which pages appear in search results – apart from their relevancy to the initial search query, of course).
But in this particular case, there is room for your blog too as not all of the results are super popular websites.
This “exercise” is very useful when you research the potential market demand, as well as when you research:
- What content to write for your blog
- What types of content to offer as part of your blog’s opt-in
- What topics to cover in your online courses and webinars
- What types of consulting/mentoring/coaching services people are interested in
In other words, you need to leverage keyword research both for your blog and for the products you’ll be creating to sell.
What’s more, as you’ll see later on in this guide, you’ll also need keyword research tools to help you deliver various different types of services to your clients (for example, editorial calendars and content marketing strategies).
Building a blog that makes money
In order to make money from your blog, you need:
- Quality, consistent traffic
- A good backlinking strategy
- A really strong opt-in
- Amazing SEO (search engine optimization)
We’ve already discussed the importance of good SEO and of ranking for the right keywords, but what about the rest?
Blog traffic is an extremely important part of your success.
But not necessarily generating huge amounts of traffic; rather, it’s all about attracting the right traffic.
In other words, getting traffic that is likely to convert.
And that ultimately circles back to good SEO: if you’re ranking for the right keywords that also have a high search volume, then you have a multitude of high-quality streams of traffic to rely on.
Backlinking too is an essential part of a good SEO strategy; you need to constantly search for quality backlinking opportunities from other niche sites.
This will not only help you increase your traffic, but it will also boost trust in your website (for example, when I started writing for Forbes as a contributor, I started getting emails immediately, multiple times a day, from people enquiring about working with me in various capacities).
Not to mention, generating backlinks from quality websites will massively boost your SEO and help improve your rankings in search queries.
Another very important part of your blogging strategy is having a strong opt-in to attract people to your email/subscriber list.
This will be of massive help and the sooner you start, the better – in fact, you should have your opt-in ready (and a bunch of really high-quality pieces of content) from the start of your blog.
The opt-in needs to be a free, highly valuable piece of content that will attract a wide portion of your target audience; for example:
- E-books and long, super comprehensive how-to guides
- Online courses
- Checklists, templates and other similar resources
Can you really make money blogging?
Of course, you can – there are a lot of examples of highly successful bloggers that are earning upwards of $10k a month, easily. In fact, I’m one of them and have been for years now.
The reasons why blogging can work so well as a business is that there are a plethora of ways to monetize your blog, from low-ticket items worth up to a few hundred dollars to expensive, high-ticket items worth thousands of dollars.
In this epic guide, we will be covering all of the best ways to turn your blog into a highly successful business.
And if you want to know how to start a blog first, check out my super-detailed step-by-step guide here.
Once you know what your niche is and what audience you want to target, use the information provided in this guide to establish the best ways to monetize your blog and build your business.
However, there is one popular blog monetization technique that will not be covered in this guide; namely, blog ads.
Because they’re not a sustainable tactic for building a scalable business – at least, not if you’re incredibly popular and get huge amounts of traffic every month.
It sounds so easy in theory: you write great content, you drive traffic to your blog, place a few ads on your site and the money will just start rolling in.
But in reality, ads are one of the worst ways of monetizing your blog, for a number of reasons:
- The money isn’t that great – you have to generate huge amounts of traffic in order to make any decent money from blog ads and very few blogs and online publications achieve that.
- They’re annoying and they affect the trust of your readers: people just don’t like ads. Period. And a lot of blog ads are extremely annoying; I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve abandoned after seconds (and never came back!) because I couldn’t escape their ads or even read their content without ads covering half of what I was trying to read. Not to mention, you can’t always control what ads will appear on your blog and that can further affect your readers’ trust
- Ads distract your readers from converting: do you want people to opt in to your list? Buy your online course or your e-book? When ads are covering your website with their own calls to action, it will affect your conversion rates considerably, for the simple fact that there are several calls to action grabbing your readers’ attention. Plus, as I said in the previous point, ads also affect trust – and where there’s no trust, there’s no buying either
My recommendation? Stay away from ads and focus on monetization tactics that actually get results (unless you just want to make some side money every month – in that case, advertising might be the right solution for you, at least if you’re getting minimum 200k visitors/month).
And you’ll find out all about those tactics right now. My goal here is to show you all the best ways of making money from your blog so that you can see the big picture and pick the right options for your own idea.
Monetizing your blog: build a sales funnel
In order to successfully monetize your blog, you’ll also need to create a clear, logical sales funnel that turn people from readers to customers; here’s how:
- Create a few amazing pieces of content (about 4-6) to get people to your site. That means creating something truly high-quality, that provides real value to your audience and that is well-optimized for SEO (and targeting high-volume keywords that you can get top spots for, as I showed you earlier)
- Once you get people to your website, you need to convert them – and you do so by creating a good opt-in (as I showed your earlier); once again, this needs to provide really good value to your audience, i.e. a strong piece of content that helps them solve a problem that they’re facing
- Once they opt-in to your list, it’s time to send them a sequence of emails designed to further engage them, keep them interested and ultimately, get them to buy from you
From this point on, your sales funnel will need to be personalized based on the types of products and services you’re going to create and sell.
But generally, the best step is to sell them a cheap, low-ticket item; something that doesn’t require a huge investment from them or too much trust, like an e-book, an online course or webinar, or any other similar products that wouldn’t cost them more than $30-$100.
Monetizing your blog: timeline suggestions
Just like with any business, you should plan your monetization tactics ahead of time. Set clear objectives that you want to reach and create monetization plans to help support these objectives.
Here are some monetization plans with timeline suggestions that you can get started on right now:
Monetization plan no. 1: The Teacher
- Phase 1: create a powerful opt-in, build your email list and start by creating an online course and sell it via your website and a teaching platform (for example, Thinkific)
- Phase 2: start offering high-end consulting, coaching and mentoring services
- Phase 3: Build a membership site and charge people for access to premium content
Monetization plan 2: The Seller
- Phase 1: create a powerful opt-in, build your email list and start by selling affiliate products and services on your blog and to your email list
- Phase 2: create an online dropshipping store and start selling products
- Phase 3: start selling your own products such as books and merchandise
Monetization plan 3: The Blogger
- Phase 1: create a powerful opt-in, build your email list and start by selling sponsored content and product reviews
- Phase 2: create a podcast and sell podcast sponsorships
- Phase 3: offer freelancer services, such as content writing services, search engine optimization services, social media marketing and so on
Of course, you can always mix and match the tactics listed in this guide to suit your niche, as well as your own capabilities.
But as you can see, it all starts with your opt-in – and of course, your overall blog content.
Now, let’s get into each blog monetization tactic, where you can find out:
- Whether it’s the right solution for your blog business
- How much you can potentially make from each strategy
- How to get started with each strategy and what tools you can use
- When you can get started with each strategy (i.e. whether it works from the start or whether you should wait until your blog grows
Then, pick the strategies that would work best for blog’s business model and start making money:
Directly on the blog:
In this section, we’ll be covering how to:
- Get sponsored blog content
- Write and create product reviews and get paid
- Promote affiliate products
1. Get sponsored content
Is it worth it? YES
How much can you make? You can easily make around $1,000 per month if your domain authority is high enough (at least 35, 40 DA) – and potentially, a lot more! (personally, I use sponsored content earnings to pay for all the little bits: hosting and other website fees, the tools and software I’m using and other smaller monthly fees). You can check these recommended hosting companies for your website.
When can you get started? You can offer this service from the start but you likely won’t get many requests (or get paid more than $10 or so) until your domain authority grows, along with your traffic
As your blog gets bigger and more popular, people will want to get their links on your blog. What’s more, brands will want to be featured on your blog so that they can reach their target audience.
And that’s where sponsored content comes in: brands and websites (in many cases, working through agencies) will want their links on your blog, and once you grow, they’ll start coming directly to you for this service.
There are several ways you can go about it:
- People reach out to you about being featured on your blog and they send you the content with the link they want to include (which they pay for, of course)
- In some cases, they’ll simply want a link placed in one of your existing articles
- Or, brands will pay you to write the sponsored content on your blog, telling you how they want to be featured on the blog
This is one of the easiest, quickest way to make money from your blog and so much better than regular ads – and there’s very little effort on your part. Not only that, but these requests often come directly to you.
You also need to be popular in your niche and preferably, have a high DA/DR (domain authority/domain rating).
After all, why else would anyone want to be featured on your blog if not for the exposure – and of course, the quality backlink?
But the best news is that once your blog starts to grow and starts gaining attention in your niche, then the requests will start rolling in…
What is the guest post price?
Do you take sponsored posts?
Lilach, I’ve got an article for you!
These types of subject lines will be all over your inbox, especially when you hit the 40 DA mark.
When my blog went from DA 40 to DA 48 overnight, the sponsored post requests doubled immediately – my inbox was flooded with these types of emails and I almost quit doing them because of the amount of work involved! Luckily though, I stuck with it.
But how much money can you realistically make from sponsored content on your blog?
Actually, quite a bit. In fact, you can easily make enough every month to pay all of your website-related costs (hosting, content creation, etc.) and still keep a few bucks.
I’ll show you some examples of how much I made over time with sponsored content since I started doing this more seriously, back in late 2018/early 2019. The truth is, I was getting these requests for sponsored content long before that but I never really took them seriously (and I’ll tell you why that is too, after you see the numbers).
Once I started to get more serious about all of these sponsored content requests I was receiving, I decided to start monitoring them more closely; it took me a few months to realise how many requests I was getting and how big the demand was.
But once I realised these things, I started writing down all of my sponsored content and links, including how much they each paid, for every 2 months; here’s June and July of 2019:
The list is, of course, much longer than that but the point was for you to see the actual total sum. There have also been some bad months:
But there have also been some really amazing months too:
And here’s the total I made over 6 months of sponsored posts:
And this is a really big “but”, I didn’t count here any brand-sponsored content that was written by me.
Although it’s considered sponsored content, I’ve always lumped it with product reviews instead. The reason why is that I often work with the tools and brands that pay for sponsored content on my blog, so it’s a very different relationship.
Plus, this type of sponsored content pays considerably more.
So how about pricing – how much should you charge for sponsored posts and links?
- Consider your domain rating – this is usually the most important factor when it comes to pricing; the bigger your domain, the more people will pay for links and content
- Use different pricing for different services; try to estimate how much work you’ll need to do for each type of sponsored posts (including your correspondence with the client as that can take up a lot of time!), your domain authority and price them accordingly – as your DA grows, so can your prices
- Prepare for a lot of haggling – almost everyone does it when it comes to sponsored posts so I would recommend you carefully consider when it’s worth continuing and when you should stop (i.e. when it appears unlikely that they’ll pay your price or even come close to it); you could lose hours haggling when they might be of a better use for a different project!
8 actionable ways to remove your money blocks and feel more abundant.
Crush your limiting beliefs now!
2. Write and sell product reviews on your blog
Is it worth it? YES
How much can you make? Like with sponsored posts, it depends a lot on your influence and domain authority. That being said, if you have a 40+ DA and good traffic, you could potentially make up to $5,000 a month (or even more than that for bigger blogs!)
When can you get started? When you have enough traffic/a big enough email list. In my experience, brands won’t pay for product reviews unless they can see the return potential – i.e. clicks back to their site and engagement/social shares
A quality product review on a popular blog is an incredibly effective way for brands to promote themselves; and not just brands, but also books and services – as long as it’s something that’s a relevant to your readership and it’s a quality product/service that you too would use, then it’s a great fit.
In my opinion, product reviews are amazing because they benefit everyone involved:
- Brands get to promote their products and services to their target audience, drive more traffic to their website, increase brand awareness and even generate conversions and sales
- You get to make money 😀
- And readers get a cool tool/software/book/service/etc. that is highly relevant to them and their needs and wants
If you’ve followed my blog for any time, you’ve probably noticed I’m a huge fan of product reviews. For one thing, it’s something I’m genuinely passionate about – trying out new tools and software and of course, writing about them!
I’ve been doing this for years and the service has grown and evolved over this time too. And over time, I’ve also noticed a very clear rise in demand for this service; for example, here are my earnings from product reviews from the last 6 months:
And I only just started reaching out to software tools a few months ago; before that, almost all of my product reviews resulted from direct enquiries from brands.
If you want to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible on product reviews, you can easily do so by reaching out to relevant tools, brands and services directly. Explain what they’ll get from your product review services, what kinds of results they can expect and take the time to personalize the email outreach – it can yield amazing results and help you get at least a couple of reviews per month.
As for how much to price your product reviews, it depends a lot on what you have to offer (how big your audience is on social media, how many readers you have, what your domain authority is and so on); plus, you can adjust these fees as you go along and you learn more about the process and the types of results brands can expect from your product review service.
3. Join affiliate programs
Is it worth it? YES
How much can you make? It depends a lot on your readership – how many people read your blog and how many of them actually take action (so it’s very important to have really high-quality, high-converting traffic, as well as a good email list of subscribers). Depending on these factors, you could make anything from $20 a month to $40,000 – and even more.
When can you get started? You can get started with affiliate marketing as soon as you want but the truth is, it might take a while (i.e. until you build up your audience, your email list and build up their trust in you as well) to make good money from affiliate marketing.
There are a lot of benefits to joining affiliate programs:
- You can get started and start earning right away
- There is huge potential for making a lot of money
- You won’t need to create your own products and services to start making money
- There are a lot of tools, software, brands, products and services that have affiliate programs set up – all you have to do is sign up and start promoting them!
The idea behind affiliate programs is that you promote various services and products and you make money as you direct blog readers to their websites and landing pages.
Each affiliate program is different in terms of how much you can earn and how you earn that money, but that is the gist of the strategy.
Basically, to get started, you just need to start joining affiliate programs for services and products that are relevant to your target audience.
Then, start promoting them on your website and to your email list; as you do it more and more, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work for your particular blog/readership, what types of products your audience prefers and which products sell.
Here are some of the best affiliate programs available to get you started:
Once you’ve signed up with various affiliate marketing programs, the next step is to promote these links.
There are several ways you can go about promoting these affiliate links:
- Your blog: this is the best place to start promoting the products you’re working with; there are numerous tactics you can use, such as: create a guide/article and include relevant tools and services throughout (as you can see in this guide); create reviews of products to show readers why they’re so valuable; create listicles of tools/products/services/books/etc; create tutorials of how to use a product
- Your email list: your email list is one of your most valuable resources; you can use it not only to drive more traffic back to your blog but also to sell them your products and to promote your affiliate links. Make sure to only promote products that you’ve used as well, that you know worked well and that you genuinely believe your audience would benefit from
- On social media: social media isn’t what it used to be – mostly, because it’s so crowded it’s very difficult to build a strong, engaged followership. Not to say it can’t be done – it’s just more difficult now than it used to be years ago. But at the same time, social media is an essential tool for bloggers. For one thing, it helps us generate the bulk of our traffic (social media should be right under search engines in terms of traffic generated!) and for another, it’s a great platform for promoting your products, as well as the affiliate products you work with
- Place banners on your website: another effective way to promote affiliate products on your site is to place banners; in order to increase the clicks generated from banners, make sure they’re super targeted; if you have a web design blog for example, then promote a product that is relevant to web designers and so on
In this section, we’ll be covering how to:
- Create and sell online courses
- Create and sell webinars
- Write and sell e-books
4. Create and sell online courses
Is it worth it? YES
How much can you make? It depends, but you could potentially have a steady income from selling online courses of around $1,000 per month (although it’s worth pointing out that there are some bloggers out there who literally make hundreds of thousands – and even millions – from selling online courses.)
When can you get started? Right away! You can post it on your website, promote to your email list and join teaching platforms to sell it there as well and reach a wider audience
Another popular and effective monetization technique for bloggers is to create and sell online courses.
After all, you have the knowledge, you have the audience so why not monetize that knowledge and skill?
Online courses are also a great source of passive income – once you create your course, you can sell it on your website, to your email list and on various teaching platforms, and just sit back (and focus on other monetization tactics).
For example, take a look at this course from Len Smith; at £18.99 a pop, he’s had as many as 35,136 students enrolled – which means a grand total of £666,232 just from this course:
Other bloggers report even bigger numbers; for example, Smart Blogger make most of their money from online courses and workshops: over $1 million per year.
Of course, not everyone can make this much money from an online course; but because the market is huge and the demand is there, it means that you can definitely make a nice enough monthly sum from selling an online course.
But how do you go about creating a course that sells?
- Know who you’re targeting: the first thing you need to do is to clearly establish who you’re going to target with your online course. This way, you can find out exactly what their needs are and create content on topics that your audience actually wants to learn more about (and therefore, are willing to spend their hard-earned cash on)
- Is there enough demand? Like when planning your blog, you should first ensure that there’s enough demand for your online course so that you can keep selling them, year after year (with some updating, depending on the topic)
- Look at your own blog: what are your top performing pieces of content? This can tell you a lot about your audience’s needs and interests
- Perform keyword research: just like I showed you earlier how to leverage keyword research to come up with your blog business idea, you should use the same tactics to find out what people are searching for and create courses on those topics
- See what others are doing: check out online teaching platforms like Udemy to see which online courses are most popular in your niche. Make sure you check out some of them too – this is so you can find out how you can be better than them!
As we’ve seen earlier, online courses can be extremely lucrative for your online business; in fact, you could easily build a highly successful business just on the back of online courses.
If you’re serious about going this route, then you’ll also need a tool to help.
Personally, I recommend Kajabi, because they have ALL the features you need to create, run and promote online courses (I’ve also written an in-depth review of their tool here if you want to learn more).
You can use it to:
- Create/design landing pages for your online courses (and you can do it completely by yourself, even if you have no design experience; simply customize a template to your liking and you’re good to go!)
- Set up trial payments, one-time payments and different payment plans (for example, subscriptions for your viewers) and integrate with Stripe and PayPal to make it easier for your attendees to pay
- Create and host your online courses
- See reports to track your customers, your revenue and your viewers’ interactions with your online courses
- Use email marketing tools to connect with your viewer and subscribers, as well as set up automated sequences to upsell your customers
- CRM (customer relationship management) tool to help you keep track of all your customers, as well as tag them, leave notes and basically everything you’d expect from a CRM
5. Create and sell webinars
Is it worth it? Kind of
How much can you make? Most likely, less than you would with online courses; the truth is that while webinars used to be very popular, they’re all too commonplace at the moment. That said, if you build a strong, large and loyal readership for your blog, you could make some extra money every month by creating and selling a webinar. Webinars are now better suited to attract people and get them to opt-in – and then, use them to sell your viewers something else.
When can you get started? Right away – although not necessarily to sell them, but to build up your list – and ultimately, to try to sell your viewers something else.
Webinars are very similar to online courses only they usually happen live (and are then repurposed and reused in various ways – usually as an incentive or opt-in to help you generate more leads). And also, they’re not always money-makers – unless you use them as a different form of online courses.
There are several ways to leverage webinars to make more money for your blogging business:
- Charge an admission fee for your webinars: just like with online courses, if you have knowledge and skills that others would want to learn as well, then they will be willing to pay you to teach those things – in this case, you can charge a fee for your live webinar. However, one of the issues with this strategy when you’re just starting out is that you might not have the clout or the trust necessary to convince people to pay for your webinar instead of a proven expert; but as you grow your blog and you become known for your knowledge and skills, people will be willing to shell-out their hard-earned cash for a session with you
*It’s important to note here that if you want to sell your webinars, then you should leverage a tool to help with the finance side of things – and most importantly, so that the audio and video are high-quality.
This way, you can integrate with payment processors to make the entire payment process easier.
I’ve personally done a ton of webinars over the years (for myself and for others) so as you can imagine, I’ve tried pretty much all the popular tools on the market.
So if you want to start selling webinars, I would recommend leveraging a tool like ClickMeeting – especially if you want to do this regularly. You can use it for paid webinars, online courses, training sessions, online events… plus, you can also live stream on popular social networks (which makes it so much easier for your viewers since these are the channels they use the most online).
You also get a bunch of useful features to help you make money from your webinars, as well as make them much better and more engaging, by leveraging interactive elements such as polls and surveys and adding calls to action.
Plus, of course, it allows you to integrate with payment processors like PayPal so that you can actually sell webinar tickets.
Check out my list of 20 top webinar software here to discover more webinar tools.
- Use webinars to promote your online courses: the online course business is huge, but in order to get people to pay for your online courses, especially if you’re not that well-known, you need to effectively promote your online course and demonstrate to your audience that you’ve got what it takes to teach them too. Webinars are a great tool to help you achieve both things; you get people to participate in your free webinar (which you can promote with ads, on your blog, on your social media and to your email list) where you give them a glimpse into what they’ll learn from your webinar and then get them to join your online courses
- Sell your other services on the back of your webinar: webinars are amazing promotional tools, when used right; while this isn’t a direct way to make money from webinars, it can help you make a lot of money from your blogging business. The idea is simple: you provide value in your webinar and use that to sell your other services; for example, your consulting, coaching and mentoring services or your freelancing services. Let’s say that you had a blog about web design and web development and wanted to land more web design clients; in this case, you could create a webinar on how to create a website that converts and then use that to promote your web design/web development services so that you can build your website for them
- Get paid to create webinars for other publications: companies are willing to pay thought leaders and influencers to create and host webinars for them. However, while it’s a good way to make some extra money, it’s not exactly a steady source of income
6. Write and sell e-books
Is it worth it? Kind of
How much can you make? Not that much; like webinars, e-books aren’t what they used to be since everyone (and their grandmother!) is creating e-books, with some giving them away for free and others selling them. That said, there are still examples of highly successful bloggers that can make thousands from e-book sales (but those are very rare!); a better chance is to leverage e-books as an additional source of passive income every month, for some pocket money.
When can you get started? Right away!
e-Books, as I said earlier, aren’t what they used to be.
To be completely honest with you, it’s unrealistic that you’ll make more than a few hundred dollars a month from e-book sales.
For example, Ryan Robinson – a highly successful blogger, writer and affiliate marketer – makes around $200 per month from his book sales:
But while you might not make a lot of money from e-book sales, that’s not to say they aren’t still very useful tools.
Having a book in your arsenal – especially if you manage to get bestseller status – can really help with your influence in your niche and even help boost your audience’s trust in you. After all, writing a full-length book is not something that just anyone can achieve.
Not to mention, it’s still an extra source of income, even if it’s not that much; and, as I mentioned earlier, diversifying your portfolio and creating multiple income streams is the way to go. After all, if something happens to one of them, you’ll still be able to make some money while you try to fix things/find a different monetization source.
Teach others what you know and make money
In this section, we’ll be covering how to:
- Offer high-end consulting services
- Offer mentoring services
- Offer coaching services
- Teach others how to build a successful blog
7. Offer high-end consulting services
Is it worth it? Yes!
How much can you make? You could potentially make as much as $5,000 per month, per consulting client
When can you get started? Right away! That said, it will be much easier to get high-end consulting clients when you have more to show for yourself.
Before I get into each of these options, what is the difference between consulting, coaching and mentoring?
At first glance, they might look like the same thing, but in actuality, they’re different jobs with different specifications:
- Coaches are leveraged to help improve the performance of a team/person, in specific area (life coaches, relationship coaches, leadership coaches, etc.)
- Consultants are similar to coaches, but consultants are hired to help with a specific process, rather than performance (strategy consultants, management consultants, financial advisory consultants and so on)
- Mentors on other hand, focus on a specific person; they work closely with the individual in order to help them achieve the results they want (it’s more of a 1-on-1 teaching position, where the mentor has more experience and knowledge and is helping the other person learn from them as much as possible)
Back to consulting services though – how do you get started and is it the right choice for you?
As I’ve said earlier, the earning potential is great, particularly if you can get a couple of recurring clients; BUT, getting good, recurring clients isn’t that easy.
Still, if you have the knowledge and you know that you have what it takes to help companies achieve amazing results and improve their processes, then it’s definitely worth going for it – it doesn’t cost you anything to effectively “create” this service.
But how do you land consulting clients?
- Start with your own contacts – ask your friends, family and other contacts in your list, just to get the ball rolling (particularly if your blog is new as well)
- Make sure you have a very visible “work with me”/hire me” button and page on your website so that anyone checking out your blog can see that they can hire you for consulting services
- Leverage LinkedIn: LinkedIn has huge marketing potential if you make the right connections; be active on your page, join relevant groups and start reaching out to relevant people in order to build relationships with them and ultimately, get more consulting clients
- Networking: go to relevant industry events and conferences and meet more people – you might get clients out of it or you might get some referrals!
- Write for high-tier websites: when you write for huge industry websites, it can help you get the attention of your ideal clients; sites like Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur and the like are read by executives all over the world so if your content attracts their attention, they might even reach out to you directly to help them solve their problem
However, before you start reaching out to people and companies, consider these questions:
- How exactly can you help them? What processes can you effectively help with?
- Why do they need your consulting help? What exactly do you bring to the table, in terms of results?
- What does your ideal/target client look like?
- What problems does your target client face?
- What makes you different/what makes you stand out from other consultants and consulting businesses?
Knowing the answers to these questions will also help you when negotiating with a potential client; they’ll ask you many of these types of questions as they’ll want to find out how, exactly you can help them.
You’ll also need to create landing pages for each of your services – use Instapage to create and publish as many landing pages as you need, completely by yourself, no developer needed whatsoever; simply pick a template, customize it with your branding and text and you’re good to go.
You’re going to need to create several landing pages on your blog website, as that’s how you get people to convert; you should create pages for:
- Your consulting, coaching and mentoring services
- Your e-book
- Your online courses and webinars
- Your freelancer services (content creation, web design, web development, SEO services, social media marketing etc.)
This way, people will be able to find your pages online, learn more about what you offer and reach out to you directly about working with you (or in other cases, buying from you).
8. Offer mentoring services
Is it worth it? Yes!
How much can you make? It depends on what kinds of clients you work with; high-end clients will pay thousands of dollars a month but you could also work with small business owners, new and upcoming entrepreneurs, marketers and so on, which won’t pay as much (but can still be worth it!)
When can you get started? Right away! That said, it will be much easier to get high-end clients when you have the experience (and the testimonials)
Mentoring someone and helping them grow and evolve can be a very powerful, very satisfying experience, both for you as a mentor and for the mentee. It’s something that I’ve been doing (along with coaching and consulting) for years and it continues to be one of my favourite things to do.
Plus, it can also be a lucrative business; however, it can be a struggle to find mentoring clients.
As I mentioned before, mentoring usually happens one-on-one, with the mentor (who has the knowledge, skills and experience) helping the mentee develop new skills, gain new knowledge and improve their lives and careers.
And in my opinion, it’s very much a mutually beneficial relationship; it’s not just the mentee that gets value out of this arrangement, but you too as you get to build up your leadership skills, your communication skills and even your own knowledge.
9. Offer coaching services
Is it worth it? Yes!
How much can you make? Like with mentoring, it depends on what kinds of clients you work with; high-end clients will pay thousands of dollars a month but you could also work with small businesses which won’t be able to pay as much
When can you get started? Right away – like with mentoring and consulting, it’s difficult to get high-end clients if you don’t have enough experience/testimonials to demonstrate your value to them, but if you’re getting amazing results from your blog, that could be all the experience you need!
Coaches, as we’ve seen earlier, are all about improving performance, whether it’s for a single person or for an entire team. In fact, if you’re not sure what a coach does, just think of your favourite sport’s teams’ coach – the relationship is very similar, whether we’re talking sports, life, relationships, or businesses.
Basically, a coach helps you achieve the results you want. A football coach helps you win games and competitions; a career coach helps you get better job prospects; a marketing coach helps you improve your marketing results; and so on and so forth.
Luckily, coaches are needed throughout industries and even for personal reasons (such as life coaches, relationship coaches, spirituality coaches, etc.); for example, here are some of the most popular types of coaches (except for the ones just mentioned):
- Career coach: helping people with career changes, mapping out of their future career and getting better positions
- Executive coach: Managers and executives find themselves having to learn new skills when they get into these new positions – coaches can help them with their managerial skills, their productivity and other relevant executive skills
- Leadership coach: when you become an executive, you need to learn how to manage teams and boost productivity; but when you go even further up the ladder and become a leader, then you’ll need to manage even bigger teams (or rather, the leaders of those teams) as well as manage highly complex projects
- Accountability coach: a lot of us want to achieve certain goals – but we also often need someone else to push us: and that’s where accountability coaches come in
- Strategic coach: developing a strategic plan from scratch is a lot of hard work. Strategic coaches can then come in and help that particular company develop a high-quality strategy; what’s more, they’ll also help explain and implement these strategies throughout the company
- Business coach: this can be a very lucrative business as there are always entrepreneurs and new businesses than need help to start up or to grow and scale
10. Teach others how to build a successful blog
Is it worth it? Yes!
How much can you make? You could potentially make anything from $2,000 to $5,000 per client
When can you get started? Once you start making decent money from your blog
As your blog starts to grow and you start making money from it, a lot of people will want to learn your secrets – how you got there and how they too can achieve the same results.
After all, it’s a very attractive prospect; you get to work from home and there’s huge potential for scaling your blog business.
That’s why a lot of successful bloggers (just like social media influencers, for that matter) offer these types of services. It can be very lucrative as the market is huge and the niche doesn’t really matter that much – it’s the tactics you use to grow your blog that make the real difference, not the topics you’re writing about, and the tactics are pretty much the same across the board, regardless of your niche.
And the best part? A lot of these clients will come directly to you; but, only as your blog grows and you can show others that you’re making great profit from your blogging business.
How to make money from your blog with freelancing:
In this section, we’ll be covering how to:
- Get paid to write for others
- Create editorial calendars and content strategies for businesses
- Offer search engine optimization services
- Offer design, web design and web development services
11. Get paid to write for others
Is it worth it? Kind of
How much can you make? Not that much; there are a lot of services out there that offer very cheap content writing services and there are so many freelance writers out there that only charge about $0.04 per word; so if you can only get quick, cheap writing jobs, you won’t make much (especially compared to how much it takes you to write the content); but, if you have amazing content that truly stands out, some businesses will be willing to pay more for very high-quality content
When can you get started? Right away
This can be a very lucrative gig if you can get some recurring monthly clients that you can write content for every month; otherwise, it’s too difficult to make an actual living from this if you rely on the occasional writing job.
And truth be told, you’ll have to spend considerable time trying to get new clients for the reason I mentioned earlier: the competition is fierce.
And in order to make money from content writing, you’ll have to write a lot of content; for example, take a look at Carol Tice, who made $5,100 in a month – but she wrote 58 blog posts to achieve that result:
And that’s not even counting the blogs that she has to write for her own blog too.
Let’s say one article takes you about 2 hours to write a 1200 article; that means that it would take you about 116 hours to write 58 articles, per month – that’s almost 3 weeks of full-time work, just on writing content for others (and supposing it actually takes you 2 hours – some, more complex blogs might take you even longer than that.)
In this case, if the articles don’t pay enough, it might simply not be worth it to go this route; however, if they pay enough and you can get some more freelancer writers to help (let’s say for example, you charge 10 cents per word to the client and you then pay 4 cents per word to your freelancers) then it can definitely be a lucrative business (but as I said, it’s difficult to get clients).
In terms of getting clients for blog writing services, you have several options:
- Advertise your writing services on freelancer sites like ProBlogger and Upwork
- Create a landing page on your blog to promote your writing services (and optimize it for search engines too!)
- Set up a cold email campaign and start reaching out to brands that would need your services
- Find blogs that pay writers to write for them (although usually, they don’t pay a lot, even if it’s a very big and popular website)
- Contact marketing agencies that might need writers for their clients to promote you own writing services (i.e. the agency finds the clients, they give you the brief from the client and you write the content for them)
- And as you start to grow your blog and become more popular in your niche, especially if you have stand-out content, some brands and agencies will come directly to you
12. Create editorial calendars and content strategies for businesses
Is it worth it? Yes
How much can you make? Editorial calendars and content marketing strategies can be quite expensive which means you can make a decent profit; in fact, a good content marketing strategy can cost as much as $5,000, or even more depending on the companies’ size
When can you get started? Right away
As you prove your skills with your own blog, you can do the same for others; namely, for businesses and companies who want to leverage content marketing and want an expert to come in and help them get great results from their content strategy.
In this scenario, you don’t actually create any of the content for them (although it can potentially lead to that, which makes this prospect even more attractive), but you create the plan – or just the blogging plan.
- Editorial calendars: you provide content ideas and outlines for a set period of time (for example, 6 months), after performing keyword research (another important reason why you should invest in a search engine optimization tool like SEMRush); you can also sweeten the deal by providing them with extensive outlines for each topic idea, meta descriptions for each piece of content, focus keywords for each content and recommendations for creating visual content
- Blogging strategies: you create a blogging strategy for a company, showing them exactly what they need to do in order to achieve better results from their blog; this includes: setting clear objectives and timelines, extensive keyword research, an editorial calendar, KPIs (key performance indicators) specified so that they can measure their blogging ROI (return on investment), suggestions for visual content, suggestions for blogging frequency and so on
- Content marketing strategies: similar to blogging strategies, only more complex; this is because a content marketing strategy needs to include all types of content created by a company and not just the content for their blog. That includes any guest blogging, content for getting website visitors to opt-in, other content projects (such as whitepapers, how to guides, research papers and so on) and in some cases, even suggestions for social media content and email marketing content
8 actionable ways to remove your money blocks and feel more abundant.
Crush your limiting beliefs now!
13. Offer search engine optimization services
Is it worth it? Yes
How much can you make? You can potentially make up to $3,000-$5,000 a month, for one client for SEO services
When can you get started? Right away
SEO is in high demand right now for businesses and websites across industries and niches. The reason why is because it gets you results, no matter the type of business: if you rank high enough for the right keywords, then it can mean a huge surge in organic traffic, leads and even sales made for that particular business.
And if your blog is achieving positive SEO results – i.e. you’re ranking for great keywords and getting lots of organic traffic – then you have all the proof you need that you can help other websites, bloggers and businesses achieve the same results.
Search engine optimization can also be a very lucrative business because the demand is so high; what’s more, it’s a necessity any a priority for many of these businesses.
Imagine for example that you had a restaurant or a café; if you want more people to find out, then you need to appear in relevant search results for your area, otherwise, you’re losing out to all of the competitors who do appear in these results.
B2B businesses need it too – they need to be able to generate leads from their content and the most effective way to do so is to get their content in the right search results.
There are numerous ways you can start to make money from SEO:
- Technical SEO: in other words, you’ll make sure that a website’s technical factors are on point (mobile responsiveness, website speed and other similar factors that affect a website’s SEO)
- On-page SEO: this means optimizing all the content and pages from a website; this includes optimizing headings and blog posts with the right keywords, as well as other website pages, adding page titles and meta descriptions
- Off-page SEO: this mostly has to do with backlinking (i.e. getting backlinks for a website, which in turn improves the authority of that website, along with its keyword rankings)
- Local SEO: this is important for local businesses (such as restaurants and cafes), that want to be featured in local search results
- Voice SEO: voice search is rapidly growing and so is the need for it
- Search engine marketing: i.e. improving a website’s online visibility
You can start by advertising these services on your website, as well as go on various freelancer websites like Upwork to promote your SEO services and find clients.
14. Offer design, web design and web development services
Is it worth it? Yes
How much can you make? You can potentially make up to $5,000-$10,000 per client for web design and web development services (and even more, depending on the project and your skills
When can you get started? Right away!
Website design and web development are always in high demand; while there are certainly a lot of services that allow you to create a website by yourself, for cheap (or even free), when it comes to business websites, those types of services won’t do in the long run.
That’s where web designers and web developers come in – the first group designs your website and the latter ensures everything is running smoothly (from ensuring your website’s speed is up to par to ensuring it works well on mobile devices too).
If you’ve built your website yourself from the ground up and it’s performing well, then that’s your first testimonial right there.
Like with the previous services discussed in this section, you can find web design and web development clients by advertising it on your website, as well as by joining freelancer websites where you can find web design and web development jobs.
Other monetization tactics to consider:
In this section, we’ll be covering how to:
- Create a podcast and get sponsorships
- Become an influencer and thought leader and get paid to speak at events
- Offer influencer services
- Build a membership
- Build an e-commerce site and sell physical products
15. Create a podcast and get sponsorships
Is it worth it? Yes – not only are you making money every episode from sponsorships but podcasts are also highly effective marketing tools
How much can you make? It depends wildly on the popularity of your podcast; depending on the type of sponsorship you get (preroll, midroll and postroll), you can make anywhere between $10 – $25 per every 1000 listens. That means that if you have 4 episodes a month and about 10k listeners per episode you can potentially make between $2,000 and $4,000 a month
When can you get started? Right away – but you’ll only start making real money when you get to (at least) tens of thousands of listeners
Podcasting has rapidly grown in popularity across the world; in fact, as many as 32% of Americans listen to at least one podcast every month – and these numbers are growing very rapidly, and not just in America, but almost everywhere in the world.
People listen to them for a variety of reasons, but 2 in particular:
- For the entertainment value (think Mark Maron, Joe Rogan and the like)
- To educate themselves, learn new things and keep up to date with the latest developments in your niche (such as the Social Media Examiner Podcast or the Smart Passive Income Podcast)
As your podcasts’ listener numbers grow, brands will stand up and pay attention; and what’s more, they’ll be willing to pay you to be featured as sponsors on your podcast.
There are several types of podcast sponsorships:
- Preroll: this means that before you start getting into the actual episode (the interview, the discussion, etc.), you’ll spend 15 seconds talking about the sponsor’s product or service. Usually, brands will tell you exactly what to say, but some will also make it your own (which makes sense, as the podcaster knows their audience so they know best how to speak with them for the message to resonate)
- Midroll: this happens somewhere in the middle of your podcast (because so many people will skip the beginning since they know there’ll be a sponsorship then!) and you spend 60 seconds talking about the brands’ product or service. If you’ve listened to many podcasts, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of podcasters will try to inject some personal take here too, talking about their own experience with that specific product or service)
- Postroll: the postroll happens at the very end of your podcast and usually lasts about 15-30 seconds; here, you’d insert a call to action to get people to buy the product or service
As I mentioned earlier, these usually pay differently, but the industry standard is between $10 and $25 per 1000 listens (the cheapest is the postroll – since it’s likely a part of your listeners will close your podcast at this point, while the most valuable and expensive is the midroll – that’s when all listeners are at their most engaged and therefore the message will be more effective).
Not only can you make money directly from the actual podcast, through sponsorships, but podcasts can also help you as marketing tools.
For one thing, they help you reach a completely new audience that might otherwise never hear about you and your blog: podcast listeners. Especially as your podcast grows and it gets featured in search results for relevant keywords on google and on the various podcasting platforms (Apple, Google Play, etc.).
Apart from that, podcasting will help you build a highly engaged audience that trusts in your knowledge and skills – the perfect audience to convert into customers.
In other words, you could get more work out of your podcast, such as consulting and coaching clients, freelancing clients, brands who want to leverage your influencer services and so on.
16. Become an influencer and thought leader and get paid to speak at events
Is it worth it? Kind of – it’s difficult to get paying gigs, especially as a lot of people are willing to do it for free (and only be paid for room and board and sometimes, not even that!)
How much can you make? It depends on the event and your influence, but some events can pay up to $10,000 + room and board. Still, it’s not something you can rely on in the long run, unless you’re a super popular influencer or thought leader
When can you get started? Right away – but for free! You’ll start making some money only when you get more popular and influential in your niche
I love speaking at events – and I’ve been lucky enough to speak at some of the biggest business and marketing conferences all over the world, from Russia to Ireland and to the US.
They’re amazing opportunities: you get to travel, to speak to thousands of people and potentially influence their thinking, to meet interesting people, to network with your peers and even to make money.
But precisely because I’ve done this so much and for so many years, I also know it can be difficult to get these types of jobs.
Conferences and events have limited budgets; and in my experience, their speaker budget usually goes to the main keynote speakers, with very little remaining for the rest of the speakers invited.
Plus, a lot of speakers, especially if they’re just starting out or just aren’t that well-known, will accept to speak at these events for free (or having their room and board paid for).
That said, if you’re just starting out and get speaking gigs, go for it – it can help build up your confidence, you’ll get to make some valuable connections and it will help build up your name (plus, it makes for great social proof!)
17. Offer influencer services
Is it worth it? Yes – as soon as you become influential enough in your niche
How much can you make? It depends on your influence; but once you get to a certain stage and you have lots of readers and at least 40-50k social media followers, you can start making anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand for influencer services
When can you get started? Once you get big enough in your niche
Remember sponsored posts? This is actually quite similar only these influencer services can take various forms, not just sponsored posts on your blog.
For example, brands could pay you to:
- Post about them on your social media channels
- Work on a campaign together: for example, setting up a contest or a giveaway on your blog or social media channels
- Become a brand ambassador for them so that you’ll promote their products or services regularly, whenever possible (such as mentioning them wherever relevant, in your content, recommending their products/services to your social media followers and so on)
In order to get to this stage, you need to be very serious about your online presence. You need to be active on your blog and on social media and consistently engage with your readers and followers – along with creating new content, of course. It’s a lengthy process but it’s well worth it in the end.
That’s because as you grow your influence, so do your opportunities, because more people will hear about you, follow you and trust you. And with that come the opportunities: brands will reach out to you directly about working together (for example, to leverage your influencer reach, to pay for your consulting services, and so on), you’ll get more traffic to your blog and more subscribers, you’ll get invited for speaking gigs, etc.
So, yes – growing your influence in your niche is well worth it and not the least of which, because you can get paid for various influencer services.
18. Build a membership site
Is it worth it? Yes
How much can you make? Earnings from membership sites can vary wildly; to be completely honest with you, you could make nothing – or you could make millions. It all depends on how good the site is and how well you promote it
When can you get started? Right away
One of the biggest struggles when it comes to running a blogging business is that your earnings can vary considerably month by month. That’s because a lot of the products and services you can create as a blogger are one-off’s: it doesn’t matter how many online courses, for example, you sold one month – next month, you’re still starting from scratch.
Basically, it all depends on how much you can sell. You don’t have a number that you can just rely on every month.
That’s why it’s important to
- Diversify your income streams as much as possible, so that even if let’s say you’re not landing any consulting clients this month, you’re still making money from selling some online courses and e-books
- Try to set up an income stream that’s recurring every month, such as recurring consulting jobs (for example, getting a company to sign a 6-month contract for your consulting services) or – drumroll, please – setting up a membership site
But what exactly is a membership site?
Basically, it’s a gated part of your website/online business where only certain people can get access: your members.
A good example is Smart Insights, which is one of the most popular membership sites around for marketers and businesses.
They offer numerous resources for free, including the articles from their blog which you can access without creating an account, as well as numerous guides and templates, which you can only access by creating a free membership account with them:
And if you want to get to the really good stuff – essential toolkits, highly extensive marketing guides and all kinds of other e-learning resources, then you’ll need to pay for full membership:
And, as you can see above, they even have different plans for individuals who want to educate themselves further, as well as for businesses of all sizes, who can use this platform to help educate all the marketers, managers and salespeople in their teams.
And when it comes to individual memberships, they further incentivize people to get an annual subscription by making it cheaper overall and giving them unlimited access to all of their content, while the monthly plan limits their access to 5 resources, each month.
As you can see, the model is pretty simple:
- First, you provide free content that provides value (although of course, not as much as the paid content), usually with a blog where people can get a glimpse into what a membership account could offer them
- Then, you move them along the sales funnel by getting them to create a free account and getting access to even better, more informative content (such as useful templates, as is the case with Smart Insights) to further incentivize them
- And finally, you get them to get a paid membership, whereby they get access to all of your content, which needs to include premium content (which can be online courses and webinars, guides that are upwards of 10,000 words, strategies and so on)
That said, there are numerous ways to do this, depending on your business model. For example:
- You could make your entire website membership-only (and provide only a sneak preview of your content), like The Washington Post does:
- Or you could make one part of your website completely free, with no account needed to access it, and part of it only accessible via paid membership
In order to achieve great results with your membership site, you’ll need to create a lot of highly valuable content, consistently; if you want to keep your members happy and keep them coming back for more, that is.
As for creating a membership site, you’ll need a software tool to help build and host your website, as well as to set up and accept payment; one of the top membership sites solutions around is Wild Apricot. You can use it to:
- Build a membership site from scratch or connect with an existing website
- Create member application forms with integrated payment
- Automate membership renewals so that they get paid automatically, month by month
- Decide which content is members-only and which isn’t
- Create events, manage attendees and get paid for your events
- Sell merchandise directly on your membership website
- Accept and keep track of all your membership site payments
- Email marketing tools to send your members email blasts and newsletter
- Contact management tool to keep track of all your members
Basically, you get all the features you need to create and run a membership site.
Membership sites are particularly great because they mean you get a steady income every month; but, at the same time, you also need to make sure that you’re constantly updating your site with new content and, of course, that you’re promoting your membership site so that you keep growing your customer base.
19. Build an e-commerce site and sell physical products
Is it worth it? Yes
How much can you make? It really depends on your products – but there’s amazing potential to turn this into a $10K/month business and even considerably more
When can you get started? Right away!
This is probably the furthest thing you can think of from blogging – but when you really think about it, there can be a close relationship between e-commerce and blogging.
For example, if you have a fashion-related blog, then why not monetize your audience by selling related products: your own merchandise (either created entirely by yourself or paying someone else to do it), fashion items from other producers (clothes, shoes, sneakers, etc.) and other related products that are relevant to your target audience.
That’s why a lot of influencers too start selling products themselves – they have the audience and instead of directing them to buy products from someone else, they started selling products too so that they can make considerably more money.
To give you a better idea of what types of products you can sell on your blog, here are some suggestions:
- Handmade products: if you’re passionate about it and have the skills to do it, you can start making money from the products you’re making in your own home (or in a factory, as you grow) by selling them via your blog
- Manufactured products: or maybe you just have the idea but not the knowledge to make it happen? In that case, you can get someone else – a manufacturer – to create and produce your products for you; for example, some bloggers start producing and selling branded t-shirts and other similar products
- Retail arbitrage: if you can find great deals on certain types of products, you can then sell them on your online store, for a profit.
And then, of course, there’s another popular option – dropshipping – which I’ll talk all about in a moment.
Is it worth it? Kind of
How much can you make? If Amazon sells what you sell (only they deliver the next day, whereas your delivery could take weeks), then you’re probably not going to make much; but with the right products and the right strategy, you could make upwards of $5,000-$10,000 in profit.
When can you get started? Right away
Ever wanted to own a store but didn’t want to deal with any of the headache-inducing inventory aspect?
Well, that’s pretty much what dropshipping is. You have the online store, someone else produces and stores the products and you just use your store to promote and sell those products.
Basically, all you have to do is sell the products, while the companies/producers you work with will handle the producing, packaging, delivery, etc. of the actual products. Once the order is placed on your website, they will handle the shipping – while you make a percentage of that sale.
In theory, there is less of a risk with dropshipping than with a regular ecommerce business, because you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get started: creating the products, keeping them in a safe place, not to mention having to handle all of the logistics involved in producing and delivering products to your customers.
That said, your profits per product will also be considerably lower, so it’s all about the volume: you need to sell a lot of products to make a good living from this strategy.
Let’s say for example, that you made a $10 profit on each item you sell.
In that case, if you wanted to make, say $10,000 every month, then that means you’ll need to sell at least 1,000 products each month to reach your target sum.
Making money from your blog is not only possible, but it can be an extremely lucrative business, as you’ve seen from all the examples of successful bloggers mentioned throughout this guide.
However, if you want to be a truly successful blogger, one that makes more than just a little side money every month, then you have to think of your blog like a business.
You’re not just writing for the sake of writing or connecting with readers; instead, you’re using your blog as a means to build a business.
8 actionable ways to remove your money blocks and feel more abundant.
Crush your limiting beliefs now!
And just like with any other business, that means that your blog business needs to:
- Cater to a big enough audience (in other words, there needs to be a big demand for the services you’re going to offer and the other products you’re going to sell on the back of your blog)
- Be scalable – in other to make it in the long run and build a truly successful business, your blog business needs to be scalable. Successful businesses have an expansion plan from the start – they know where they want to be 1 year, 2 years, 10 years down the line. Making a few thousand dollars every month is great, but if you want to get to tens of thousands – and even more – then you need to make sure that your blog business model can actually get there
- Have multiple income streams – don’t rely on a single income stream as that can dry out and plus, earnings will fluctuate a lot each month. That’s why you should set up multiple income streams, such as affiliate earnings, online courses, selling e-books and offering various consulting and freelancing services. That’s how you get to make tens of thousands of dollars each month
- Try to set up recurring income streams – it’s also important to be safe and you do that by setting up some streams of income that you can rely on every month. For example, recurring consulting services, recurring freelancing clients, recurring writing jobs and so on
(Updated July 10, 2020)
How do I start a blog?
It’s super easy: you’ll need hosting from Bluehost (which also includes a free domain name) and a theme to help design your blog with WordPress (it’s very easy to do – you can literally have your blog live in under 30 minutes).
Check out my guide on how to start a blog in 2020 here for a complete a step-by-step guide.
How soon can you start making money as a blogger?
In theory, you could start making money blogging even from your first month; however, it won’t be a lot and the reality is, you’ll need to put in a lot of work to start making money.
This is probably the most important thing to understand; even though almost anyone can start a blog and make money from it, only those who are willing to put in the work will start to make money – it’s not enough to build a great-looking blog, write a few blog posts a month and hope for the best.
You need to constantly update your blog, grow your email list, promote your blog extensively using various methods and try to develop multiple revenue streams.
Can you make a living blogging?
Definitely – it will take a while to get to that stage but it’s definitely doable. However, it’s a lot of work and you need to be prepared to work long hours and think strategically if you want to start earning enough from your blog to quit your full-time job.
How much can I make from blogging?
If you pick a good niche, get a lot of traffic (hundreds of thousands of visitors a month and more), and develop multiple revenue streams, you can make upwards of $10,000 a month. Some bloggers make hundreds of thousands and even to a million dollars a month – both those are rare breeds and they worked very hard to get to that stage.
However, if you’re motivated and truly want to build a huge business out of your blog, it can be done – you’ll just need to work A LOT.
Is it easy to make money blogging?
No – and I wouldn’t recommend trusting someone who says it is.
Making some extra cash from blogging isn’t that difficult once you start getting a lot of traffic. But getting traffic will require a lot of work.
And if you want to make an actual living out of blogging? That will take a lot of work and a lot of long hours spent in front of your computer.
The thing is, literally almost anyone can make money from blogging. But the reason why only a few become truly successful, it’s not because they’re necessarily better than other bloggers, but because they were willing to spend sleepless nights growing their blog. And because they understood that they need to be strategic – every step they take, every piece of content they create, all of it is done with a clear, strategic purpose: to help them grow their blog and make more money.
Do I have to pay taxes if I make money blogging?
Yes – as soon as you start earning from blogging, you’ll need to pay taxes. Check the regulation in your particular country to find out the best ways to register your business and how to handle taxes properly.
What are the best niches for making money blogging?
The big “F’s”: food, fashion and finance. That said, there’s a lot of potential in plenty of niches; just use a keyword research tool like SEMrush to find out how many people search for your keywords every month as that will help paint a very clear picture of how big your niche is. Plus, check out the top bloggers in that niche – likewise, you can use SEMrush to find out how much traffic they’re getting a month.
What are the best tactics for making money blogging?
The most effective ways to make money blogging are:
· Affiliate marketing: promoting affiliate links for products and services and making a commission from each sale
· Digital products, particularly online courses
· Offering services, such as consulting and coaching