Blogging can be a very rewarding hobby. Apart from being a great way to express your passion, it can also be a useful vehicle to make some extra money, either as a full-time occupation or part-time career.
Stories abound of people who have made a decent living out of their blogs, such as Matthew Bowden of True Valhalla, who made close to US$500,000 from his blog in 2017.
Or Pat Flynn, who exceeded the US$2 million mark from his blog in the same year.
So, whether you’re looking to make some passive income on the side, or considering quitting your job for a full-time blogging gig, this article can help you immensely.
Here, we explore five simple ways you can make money from your blog.
1. Make Money from Your Blog: Affiliate Marketing
For most bloggers, affiliate marketing is the first port of call when it comes to making money from your website.
Affiliate marketing platforms allow you to place links to products and services belonging to affiliate businesses on your blog. When a visitor clicks on any of the links and makes a purchase, you earn a commission.
There are a few rules you need to observe for success in affiliate marketing.
- Only accept and promote goods and services in the same niche as your blog.
- Only accept and promote goods and services that you or someone you know has used and can recommend.
- Always include a disclaimer on your website so that your visitors will not be misled.
There are several affiliate marketing programs you can sign up with to start. Amongst the most popular are Amazon Associates and ClickBank.
There are also less popular platforms you can work with, or you can look for a small online business (within your niche) and offer to carry their products on your website and earn commissions on sales.
While there’s no exact ballpoint for what you can make from affiliate marketing, there are stories of people who make as much as US$20,000 annually.
2. Google AdSense
Google AdSense is another very popular way in which people earn money via their blogs. There are actually bloggers who create self-hosted blogs solely for the purpose of hosting Google ads.
The premise is similar to affiliate marketing, but rather than hosting links that sell products and services, you display ads on your website that can lead to someone else’s product/ services page or homepage.
You essentially make money by displaying these ads on your website.
There are two ways you can make money via Google AdSense:
- Impressions: This involves earning money based on the number of page views. For instance, you’ll earn a particular figure for every 1000 page views you receive.
- Clicks: Pay per click means that you earn a set amount of money every time a visitor clicks on an ad on your website, regardless the number of page views. This can start anywhere from US$0.01 to a few dollars, depending on the instructions of the advertiser.
There are lots of bloggers comfortably earning money, simply by placing Google ads on their website. This system can be used on Google’s blogging platform (BlogSpot) or a self-hosted WordPress blog.
If you use a free WordPress blog, you will not be able to monetise with Google AdSense unless you are willing to upgrade to a premium package and pay for your own TLD.
3. Selling Your Own Products and Services
Tech experts from Umbrellar.com suggest that if you run a WordPress blog, then integrating an e-commerce shopping cart in your website should be quite easy.
As long as you have a product or service that people are willing to buy, you can earn good money via your blog.
There are many things you can sell on your blog. If you’re an authority in your niche, you can create an e-Book and sell it on your blog. However, your e-Book has to contain useful content that people are willing to pay for.
If your visitors are already learning through your blog, what better way to make money than to package your training into online courses and sell for a fee?
You can create membership accounts, where paid members have access to bonuses and other special features not available to free members.
Whatever products and services you’re selling on your blog should be closely related to your niche.
Also, it’s important that your products and services meet your customers’ expectations, so as not to damage your online reputation.
4. Paid Reviews and Endorsements
If your blog is generating a decent amount of traffic, businesses can contact you with the intention of sponsoring your website. This can be in the form of paid reviews, product endorsements or banner ads.
These businesses will send samples of their products for you to review on your website. A positive review from an authority website will do a lot to boost sales of that product or service.
However, you’re under no obligation to write a positive review, especially if the product or service is not up to the required standard of quality.
Alternatively, some businesses will pay you to ‘mention’ their brands, products or services on your website. This form of endorsement should be done with care, so that you don’t end up endorsing a bad product.
Another option to earn money is when businesses contact you to place their banner ads on your website for a fee. Unlike Google AdSense, you get to determine how much you earn via this method.
With drop shipping, you don’t stock products. You place the available products for sale on your website, and when a customer indicates interest, you contact the original seller to send it directly to the buyer.
This way, you make money with minimal hassle and very little risk.
The reality is that there is no specific figure you can earn from your blog. Your determination, dedication and the way you choose to go about it will to a large extent determine how much you end up making.
That said, blogging remains one of the most lucrative ways of making money on the internet, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort.