I have been blogging – for profit – since 2009. I started out blogging about online business to gain virtual assistant clients. Once I found out about affiliate marketing, I was hooked! Since then I have started, and sometimes sold, a number of profit-turning blogs.
But here’s the deal. I’m sure you have been told at least once how making money from your blog is somehow dirty. If you really loved it, you’d just do it for free. And shame on you for even thinking about selling something. Total hogwash! If you are providing a service to your readers through tutorials, reviews and valuable information there is no reason you shouldn’t be making money. And there is a number of ways to do it.
I will say this upfront: It won’t be easy. And if you are not striving to be a top-tier blogger, opportunities may be scarce. If your blog is made up of primarily journaling your daily life to a small group of followers, you may have to get by on love alone. And very few people earn a full-time income through their blogs. But it is possible! If you are in it only for the cash or you put money above community however, you will burnout before you make your first cent. Guaranteed. So before you think you’re ready to make money blogging, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I ready and able to spend money on blogging? Many opportunities require a custom domain at minimum.
- Am I ready and able to blog for six months – consistently and at a high level of quality – before I make any money?
- Am I ready and able to handle the ups and downs of blogging income? Seriously up and down.
- Am I ready and able to get out there, find readers, build a community and support my followers as equally as I expect them to support me?
- Am I blogging for myself or am I blogging to be of service to others? (Blogs that provide a service, ex. tutorials/recommendations/influence, are the blogs that have the best money-making potential.)
Money doesn’t come over night. It doesn’t come free. It certainly doesn’t come to those readers can’t trust. And it won’t come on its own. You have to have influence. You have to create your own influence. Please remember – brands don’t want you (no offense), they want your readers. No readers = no money. Bottom line.
Below are several ways to make money with your blog. Here you will find a nice mix of affiliate programs, store credit opportunities, places to get review products (so maybe not cash, but free product) and some unique ideas. Have fun. Always be ethical. Always disclose your brand relationships. (On that note, this list does contain referral links. Recommendations are always honest.)
Affiliate Programs and Networks
With affiliate marketing, you will be earning a commission or flat fee for referring sales and leads. You can include your affiliate links within product reviews or where they fit naturally within your content. Rather than grasping at straws, think about those products or services you love. If it’s available for purchasing online, there is probably an affiliate program for it.
Pro Tip: Go back through your most popular posts and see what recommended products or services would be a good fit. Update your post, create a fabulous new Pinnable image and get it promoted to your social media channels.
- Warby Parker
- Stella & Dot
- eBay Partner Network
- CenterPoint Media
- Commission Junction
- She Is Media
- Cents of Style
- Escalate Media
- ShopHer Media
- Affiliate Window
Display Ad Networks
These are simply banner ads, in most cases, which pay you per click. They are an easy way to monetize your blog, but probably not your most lucrative opportunity.
- Media.net – get an extra 10% on your earnings when you sign up through this link
- Mode Media
- Style Coalition
Direct Ad Sales Opportunities
You can always sell those banner ad spots yourself to interested advertisers.
Review Networks and Opportunities
Here are some great places to pick up review products and sponsored post opportunities.
- Double Duty Divas
- Allure Beauty Enthusiasts
- POPSUGAR Select
- Bzz Agent
- Skintactix Blogger Challenge
- OASAP Fashion Hunter
- Weave Made Media
- Find Your Influence
- IZEA Media
- Blogger LinkUp
- One2One Network
- Clever Girls Collective
- Massive Sway
- Social Fabric Shopportunities
- CJ Content Certified – use referral code 2891324
Store Credit Opportunities
You usually need to be an existing customer for these offers. While they may not pay you cash, if you are shopping there anyway why not shop for free?
- Julep (use code FREEBOX to receive your first Maven box free)
- Stitch Fix (my favorite styling service. ever.)
Other Money-Making Opportunities
- Provide one-on-one expert consultations for a fee on Skype or Periscope
- Write an eBook and sell it on Amazon or Gumroad
- Offer blogging services to others
- Create your own products and sell them on Etsy
- Seek out Self-managed affiliate programs for those products and services you love
- If you are considered an expert in your field, you can make money as a speaker or coach
- If photography is your strong suit, make money selling stock photos
- Make money as a freelance writer for others
- Create a course and sell it online
Never let money come before your community. Without community, you have no valuable asset. Put your readers’ needs first. Only take those opportunities that get you excited.
If you are just getting started or need a little help, check out these personal recommendations.
- Framework from Just a Girl and Her Blog – This course walks you through everything from setting up a WordPress blog to creating content. Three levels of help are available.
- Elite Blogger Academy – This course is for those with established blogs. It’s the crème de la crème when it comes to blogging courses. I took this one two years ago and have been reaping the rewards ever since. I was able to GREATLY increase my blogs’ traffic and income in a very short period of time. I’ve also made connections with some really great bloggers to help continue that success long into the future.
- Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers - This is a huge eBook from Tasha at Designed Trapped. She breaks affiliate marketing down into its simplest form and gives you the tools and information you need to succeed.
- Still in the brainstorming stage? - Check out this post for a few tips on starting a blog.