But, as many of us know, passion alone isn’t enough to pay the bills, and creating a successful blog is a time-consuming task. Keeping the blog updated frequently with interesting posts, promoting them online, sending newsletters, and interacting with readers are all activities that need attention and perseverance, and that do not always pay off from an economic point of view.
However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. There are, in fact, various ways to monetize your blog. First, it’s important to focus on the basics: starting a successful, solid, and attention-grabbing blog. To find out how to start your own blog, read our step by step guide.
Then, in this article, we will deal with understanding how to monetize a blog, from writing sponsored and affiliate content, to selling merchandise and products online.
The principles of blogging
Before thinking about how to monetize a blog, it will be necessary to create a solid base of readers, starting from the creation of interesting content. To do this, you need to follow the five basic principles of blogging:
Identify your niche: every self-respecting blog needs a well-defined target audience. Instead of writing about any topic you can think of, identify specific topics within a defined market niche to build an established readership base. Use your blog to show the world your skills in a certain area and to meet the specific needs of your readers
Offer quality content: If the quantity of posts on your blog is important, quality is more important. Be consistent in how often you post articles on your blog, but don’t let that limit your ability to create in-depth, quality content. After all, your goal is for readers to like your articles and come back to the blog to read other posts
Offer valuable content: Just as every business must offer some value to their target audience, the same goes for a successful blog. Those who read your blog do it to meet specific needs: whether it’s to learn something new or to find a solution to a problem, your job is to give your readers what they are looking for. Do not create ‘stencil-made’ content, and rather aim to write articles that stand out because they are thorough, original and useful
Encourage engagement: Your blog should not only serve readers’ needs, but also encourage them to know more. Make sure you post interactive content like videos or quizzes, and add a forum to build a community for your brand. The more you engage your readers, the easier it will be to make money with your blog later on
Show your skills: When you are recognized as an expert in your field, readers will be even more excited to read what you write. Share your experience and expertise by contributing to other online platforms. You can write blog posts for other companies, for online magazines, post articles on sites like Medium and LinkedIn, or build a following on social media. These strategies will help build your reputation as the industry leader you work with, as well as drive traffic to your blog
Once you put these five blogging tips into practice, you will be able to bring quality content to life and you will have created a loyal audience for your blog. At this point, you will be ready to start monetizing your blog.
How to make money with a blog
01. Offer a paid subscription
Your blog posts offer much more than just an opinion or idea. They are the perfect mix of your experience, skills and personal point of view. People want to read your articles because they offer added value – be it professional advice, tips, personal growth or any other type of information. While it is recommended that most of your posts be accessible for free, consider creating subscriptions where you make exclusive content available to paying members only.
To convince your readers that this content is worth paying for, make certain portions of this content still available for free. These previews can help you attract an audience interested in exclusive content and paid insights. Either way, make sure your blog has a balance between premium content and free content.
02. Become a freelance blogger
Another effective strategy for monetizing your blog is to offer your services as a freelance blogger to well-known online magazines within your niche. Even if your blog isn’t attracting much traffic yet, your posts can still make for a valuable portfolio that you can leverage to become a freelance blogger for other online platforms. By using your content to establish your authority and expertise in a particular field, you can create revenue opportunities by writing for other blogs, and eventually, you may even turn it into a full-time job.
To find these opportunities, do an online search and join freelance groups and platforms or contact brands directly looking for bloggers and content creators. In any case, make sure you always include a link to your blog to showcase your skills and expertise and, why not, attract more readers.
03. Earn money with online advertising
One of the most reliable strategies for monetizing your blog is to place advertisements on your site that allow you to make money with your blog every time a user clicks on the ad. The great advantage of this solution is that it requires minimal effort on the part of the blogger. Just create an account with an online classifieds platform and link it to your website.
Using Google AdSense, you can define which ad fields, sectors and categories you want to be visible on your blog to make sure they are suitable for your audience. Additionally, you can customize the appearance of the ads to be consistent with your blog design. When you create a blog with Wix, you can directly add Google AdSense to your blog and earn with your blog for every click on the ads.
For ads on your blog to be profitable, you need to make sure they are relevant to the interests of your audience. If your blog is about health and wellness, your readers will likely be less likely to click on real estate ads. Instead, choose ads that promote wellness and personal care products and services.
04. Do affiliate marketing
When considering the various strategies on how to make money with a blog, many people consider affiliate marketing as a viable alternative. Affiliate marketing means partnering with a brand to promote their products and earn a commission for every sale originating from your blog. Affiliate marketing is, therefore, an advantageous strategy from both the blogger’s and the brand’s point of view.
This type of performance-based revenue works best when both parties involved are targeting the same audience. Partner with brands whose products or services may really interest your readers. Otherwise, the possibility of generating leads and sales will be reduced. Having an affinity with the brands you collaborate with also means being able to promote them better. Promoting products that really have to do with your blog content will allow you to make the most of them, resulting in an even higher number of sales.
While there are tons of affiliate programs to choose from, one of the most popular with beginners is the Amazon affiliate program. As an affiliate, you can place advertisements that link to Amazon products in your blog content, and receive a commission for every purchase that passes through your site.
05. Write sponsored posts
Another option is to create sponsored content that talks about a specific product or service. It is an effective form of advertising for brands and, at the same time, a great way to make money with a blog.
To get started, you need to find a brand to partner with. Sometimes it happens that companies contact bloggers directly, but we recommend that you take the initiative to send emails to brands you are interested in collaborating with.
A sponsored post often includes a product review or demonstrates how the blogger uses the product in question for professional or creative purposes. This is a great way to make money with your blog, as (unlike advertising and affiliate programs) you know exactly how much you will earn right from the start.
If you choose to write sponsored posts, keep the following tips in mind:
Look for a partnership that allows you to create a series of sponsored posts spread over several weeks or months to ensure you have a recurring source of revenue
When you contact brands, be clear about how partnering with you can benefit them as well. Provide accurate data about traffic to your site, show them how your readers’ interests align with their brand, and offer ideas on how to incorporate their products into your content
Don’t try to hide sponsored posts. Be honest with your audience and always make it clear if they are collaborations with a short disclaimer
Don’t let collaborations compromise your integrity as a blogger. Only recommend products that you truly believe in and that you believe can offer real value to your readers
06. Get sponsored by a brand
In addition to creating sponsored posts, another advantage of having a collaboration with a brand is to have your blog and your online presence sponsored by the brand in question. In this case, there is no need to dedicate entire posts to product reviews or recommendations. Rather, it’s about including the sponsor brand in your blog header, placing a note in your articles and social media content thanking them for their support.
This type of sponsorship can be especially helpful if you find a brand that you really love and that is highly relevant to your niche. When discussing the terms of the collaboration with the brand, make sure both parties are clear about expectations and goals, so that you never feel like you are compromising your work.
07. Ask your readers for support
You can also monetize your blog by simply asking for donations. While it is advisable not to be pushy, you can always leave a short note for your fans to express your appreciation and thank them for their support. You will be surprised to see how many of your readers are actually inclined to support you financially, even more so if your blog offers interesting and quality content. Sometimes, to receive, it is enough to simply ask.
The principle behind donations is to allow your audience to thank you for providing them with free and valuable content. For this reason, it’s best to avoid asking for donations if you’re already selling your content.
08. Sell e-books
As you work to build a solid readership base for your blog, you can offer your fans insight into your content in the form of an e-book. Your e-book can be an elaboration of the topics you already cover in your blog or it can introduce a new topic that is particularly relevant to your target audience.
For example, if you are a photography blogger and you regularly post tips on photography and editing, your e-book could show you the most beautiful places you have visited and how you have captured them with your shots.
As you create your e-book, share tips and stories from your experience. Teach readers something new and show them how they can apply these tips in their daily lives.
09. Sell online courses
Consider repurposing your most successful content in the form of online courses. Selling videos online will not only help you engage your content more, it is also an effective way to make money with your blog.
While we recommend that you continue to offer short format video content for free anyway, you can always pay for longer or in-depth videos. Wix Video allows you to sell, rent and enable the download of your video content on your terms. This allows you to set prices and even limit how long the video is available.
To get the most out of your online courses, think about the type of content your target audience might find interesting enough to pay to see it. For example, you could create a video tutorial that offers insights beyond what your audience can already find for free online – from educational videos like online coding tutorials or a series of home-made fitness training videos.
10. Create a podcast
If you’re feeling particularly creative, another option for monetizing your blog is to start a podcast. Instead of creating your audio content from scratch, you can simply convert the content you already have on your blog into episodes of your podcast.
Podcasts are becoming more and more popular, and riding the wave of this trend can help you give your blog more exposure and increase traffic. In addition, you can earn additional revenue by placing advertisements on your podcast, along the lines of short radio ads.
11. Create a webinar
Another way to practice your knowledge and make money with your blog is to create paid webinars. The webinar is not only a great tool to teach your audience something new, in an original way, but it is also the ideal means to build deeper relationships with your audience and increase their engagement on your blog.
There are various types of webinars: slide presentations, tutorials, workshops or based on questions and answers from the audience. Regardless of which format you choose, be sure to focus on a specific topic that you are well versed in. You can also cover content that is already on your blog, but remember to offer further insights on topics that are not already available for free. Finally, remember to end your webinar with tips that are actionable so that, once the session is over, your audience will feel they have learned something useful.
12. Host virtual conferences
Another type of paid online event you can offer to monetize your blog is virtual conferences. Typically, this is a video interview with experts discussing a certain topic. These events are often free for the first 24-72 hours, after which subscribers can choose to purchase a “pass” to continue viewing the events in question.
Virtual conferences not only help you earn money by selling “tickets” to viewers, but they are also a powerful marketing strategy for creating interest in your blog from new users. This will help you broaden your reach and increase traffic to your site, generating short-term revenue while helping to make your blog profitable in the long run.
13. Offer coaching or consulting services
As you build your online presence and share your knowledge with your readers, you can complement your content with individual coaching sessions. Regardless of your area of expertise, there are several ways to turn your experience into useful training for others.
For example, if you blog to share your passion for gardening, you could offer one-on-one video sessions that offer tips and advice on how to improve your home garden. Or, if you are a digital nomad and travel blogger, you can offer customized travel itineraries to customers based on their interests and budget. Likewise, if you are an entrepreneur or professional training expert, you can offer business or life coaching sessions to your audience.
14. Sell merchandise
Many bloggers make money by selling products inspired by their content. Some of these are already well-known influencers, but it is good to note that being famous online is not a necessary prerequisite for selling merchandise.
So, how to start a blog and make money. You can open an online store and sell products related to your blog’s niche, or you can offer specific articles that have to do with your industry or generic products with your custom logo.
15. Promote your blog consistently
For the methods listed above to be effective, it is important to constantly promote your blog, so as to bring more traffic, interact with your audience and strengthen your reader base. When writing posts and monetizing your content, implement the following strategies so that you continue to make money with your blog:
Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines: Content optimization for search engines, or SEO, is key these days. When writing your posts, always try to refine your content to facilitate a high ranking on Google and other search engines. This will allow you to gain visibility and bring more and more traffic to the site. To learn more, check out this guide on the most effective strategies for getting your site found on Google
Be active on social media – blogging and social media marketing go hand in hand. Optimize your social channels to share your articles on multiple platforms and attract more followers. If you also share interesting content on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you will be able to maintain constant traffic on your blog
Keep audience engagement high with email marketing – newsletters are a great channel for engaging your audience. Promote your blog’s latest articles with engaging emails that encourage your audience to come back to your site