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How to Monetize Your Blog? 5 Powerful Ways to Make Money Blogging

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updated Oct 20, 2020

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So you want to start a successful blog and make money online? Congrats! When you’re just getting started with blogging, you have a lot to take in. Figuring out how to monetize your blog can feel overwhelming and confusing.

But as it turns out, building a money-making blog doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think.

In fact, you can start making money online today if you choose the right monetization methods that fit your blog the best.

To help you get started, I’ll walk you through some of the most popular and powerful ways of blogging for money in this article. I’ll share with you the best monetization methods to help you start earning passive income the right way from the beginning.

By the end of this post, you’ll feel more confident with choosing the best money-making tools for your blog.

Moreover, you’ll know exactly where to start if you want to establish a solid monetization strategy for your blog – starting now.

Keep reading!

Here are a few related posts you might want to read, too:

Key to monetization: Choosing the perfect blog niche

First things first: When it comes to blogging for money, you MUST find the perfect blog niche to focus on.

Before you even start thinking about how to monetize your blog, you need to figure out what’s happening in your niche.

Because the truth is:

Readers love specificity. They’re looking for information and helpful answers to very specific questions and problems.

And that’s the whole point of making money with your blog.

You want to help your readers.

Of course, the best way to do it is to offer them something of value. As long as your readers feel like your content is valuable, they are more willing to spend money on products you offer or recommend.

Just think about it: if you had to choose between two products with the same price, would you choose the one that’s valuable or the one that’s just nice to have?

For more details, check out my post about how to find the perfect blog niche.

Furthermore, you should, of course, think about yourself a bit when you’re choosing your blog niche. If you want to monetize your blog traffic, you need to choose a topic you love working with.

After all, you’ll spend a LOT of time on your blog, creating content and growing your traffic. Choose a niche that you genuinely enjoy, feel comfortable with, and love learning more about.

How to find a profitable blog niche:

To help you choose a profitable blog niche to start with, here are a few useful points to consider:

  1. Niche size and traffic potential:
    Don’t pick a niche no one is interested in. Make sure you can attract enough readers and traffic, otherwise you’ll have a hard time making money from your blog.
  2. Seasonality:
    If you want to earn passive income throughout the year, don’t start a blog about Christmas decorations. Of course, you’ll see some seasonal fluctuations in traffic in any niche, but try to avoid blogging about something extremely seasonal.
  3. Competition:
    Before you start a blog, make sure you do some competitive analysis. Find out who your competitors are, if the market is 100% saturated already, and if there’s something missing that readers are searching for. Fill that gap!
  4. Evergreen content:
    Choose a blog niche where you can write evergreen articles and attract consistent traffic for years to come. This will save you tons of time when you don’t have to worry about your articles becoming outdated.

Of course, it’s difficult to give an all-in-one solution for choosing the perfect, profitable blog niche. Therefore, use your best judgment while doing your niche research – you’re the expert in your topic!

Related: 101 Profitable Blog Niche Ideas That Make Money

How to Make Money Blogging? 5 Powerful Monetization Methods

Alright, let’s get down to business here. When you start a blog and want to earn passive income online, you have a handful of monetization methods to choose between.

The most important point to keep in mind is that you should plan a solid monetization strategy before you start your blog. And if your #1 goal is to make money online, you need to set up your blog the right way from the beginning.

So far, you should have chosen your blog niche to focus on. The next step is to find your blog’s target audience. This will help you understand what your potential readers need and want to read about.

After all, building a successful blog and making money with it is all about helping your readers. When you know what they’re struggling with, you just need to find the best products and services that will make their lives easier.

To help you build a robust monetization strategy, let’s look at a few popular and powerful methods on how to monetize your blog.

Based on your blog niche, use a combination of them to build a profitable online business out of your blog.

Make sure you save this pin to Pinterest and share this article with others, too!

How to monetize your blog - Make money blogging - Blogging Explorer

Method #1: Display advertisements

The most widely used blog monetization method is display advertising. In fact, it’s the easiest and quickest way to earn money blogging.

But how does display advertising work exactly?

The idea with placing ads on your blog is rather simple: you sell advertising space where you readers can see an ad. If they click on it, you’ll earn a commission.

The best part?

Ad income is 100% passive income. You only need to set it up once and you’ll be making money while you sleep.

At first, your income will be small, so you’ll need some patience with this. As you attract more traffic to your blog, the income potential will increase.

How does monetization through advertising work?

First, you have to sign up for an advertising network to place ads on your blog.

Once you finish the signup process, you can insert an HTML code snippet on your blog or website where you want to show ads. This could be within your blog posts, in the sidebar, or anywhere else you want.

And don’t worry if you’re not familiar with inserting HTML snippets to your blog. Your ad network will help you set everything up properly, either with step-by-step tutorials or personal help.

Alternatively, your ad network can place the ads for you. With this option, you can sit back and relax while they take care of everything. However, a word of caution: some networks place ads in all the wrong spots to maximize their revenue.

Thus, to have full control over how your blog looks like, it might be worth your while to learn some HTML and place the tags yourself. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises.

How can I make money through ads on my blog?

So, by now you’ve placed the ads on your blog and they’re displaying to your readers. But what happens next?

You should see your first cents rolling in pretty soon. With most ad networks, you’ll earn money in two different ways:

  1. Pay per click advertisements (PPC) will get you paid only when the readers on your blog actually click on the links put up in the ads.
  2. Pay per view (PPV) or impression ads will generate revenue based on how many people are on the given webpage coming across the advertisement.

Usually, pay per view (PPV) ads have a fixed revenue for a certain count of thousand or several thousand views. For the exact metrics and numbers, you should check in with your ad network.

Popular display ad networks for bloggers:

There are a few popular networks you can choose from.

However, some of them require a certain minimum number of page views or sessions, i.e. visitors on your blog before you can join. If you’re not quite there yet, use these smart traffic tools to grow your blog traffic fast.

Also, make sure you grab my FREE Pinterest Marketing Quick Guide to boost your blog traffic quickly!

Alternatively, simply pick one of the top ad networks for small publishers to get started.

Here’s an overview of some of the most popular ad networks for bloggers to make money blogging:

  1. Google AdSense:
    Probably the most popular and widely-known network. Very easy to set up. Minimum requirement to join: none.
  2. Infolinks:
    Great for new blogs, often better income potential than with AdSense. Minimum requirement to join: none.
  3. Monumetric:
    Perfect for bloggers who want to increase their passive income compared to the previous networks. Minimum requirement to join: 10,000 page views in 30 days.
  4. Mediavine:
    Takes display ads for blogs to the next level with their own powerful technical solutions. Minimum requirement to join: 30,000 sessions in 30 days.
  5. AdThrive:
    Popular among the biggest blogs out there. Minimum requirement to join: 100,000 page views in 30 days.
Infolinks - Best ad networks for bloggers
Infolinks allows you to grow your passive display ad income easily.

The biggest benefit of a solid ad network is that they’ll take care of everything for you. They can identify what your blog is about and what sorts of niche ads should be placed there.

Thus, you’ll save time when you don’t have to worry about finding the ads and connecting with brands yourself.

Read also: Top 10 Best Ad Networks for Bloggers in 2020

Can I make money with advertising on my blog?

Yes. Placing ads on your blog allows you to start making money in a matter of minutes.

But the question is: How much money can you make?

You see, the biggest shortcoming of monetizing your blog through ads is that you’ll need a LOT of traffic. The minimum traffic requirements speak for themselves: the more traffic you have, the more revenue potential there is.

Thus, your blog must have a significant amount of visitors to earn you a considerable amount of money.

But don’t let this stop you from placing ads on your blog. Use these powerful tips to increase your display ad income right away.

It shouldn’t be your primary monetization method in the first place – at least, not just yet.

Use display ads on your blog to complement your other money-making methods.

As your blog traffic grows, you will see an increase in your ad income in a relatively short period of time.

In fact, that’s what happened to me when I switched from AdSense to Monumetric. You can read more about that in my Monumetric review.

Related: Monumetric Earnings: How Much Can You Make?

How to join Monumetric to monetize your blog traffic
Monumetric takes care of placing and embedding their display ads to your blog.

Summary: Blog monetization with advertisements

All in all, advertising is the easiest and quickest blog monetization method regardless of your experience level.

The biggest benefit is that showing ads on your blog is the ultimate passive monetization method. Neither you nor your visitors need to take action to generate income for you.

The biggest shortcoming of display ads is that you need a large readership to generate a significant revenue stream.

Therefore, other methods of monetization are not just important but essential. However, consider setting up ads on your blog now already and see how it goes. If your traffic is increasing steadily, you might be able to make more money through ads rather soon.

For a more thorough post on monetization with ads, check out How to Make Money With Ads on Your Blog: Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide.

Method #2: Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is by far the most powerful way to monetize your blog apart from selling products of your own.

Compared to the advertising method above, affiliate marketing is much more dynamic: it requires action from both you and from your visitors.

How does affiliate marketing work for bloggers?

To get started with affiliate marketing, you first need to know which products or services you want to promote on your blog. 

When you’ve found products that could be valuable and helpful to your blog’s target audience, you apply for their affiliate program.

Once your application is approved, you can start promoting products or services from that program to your readers.

How do I choose the perfect affiliate products to promote?

Think about your readers and your niche first:

  • What products would you recommend to your target audience?
  • What products could make things easier for them? 

For example, if your blog is about gardening, would you feel comfortable recommending helpful gardening tools to your readers?

Whatever product or service you choose, make sure it’s helpful and useful to your audience. In other words: the product should solve a problem your readers are struggling with.

And please, please, please: only recommend products you have tested yourself and that you trust!

For instance, the affiliate products I recommend on this blog are tools that help you save time and money when you want to start a successful blog. I use all of them personally and I know they can help any blogger who wants to build a successful online business and make money blogging.

How can I make money with affiliate marketing?

When you’ve found the perfect products to recommend and promote, it’s time to roll up your sleeves!

The trick with affiliate marketing is to make your readers see how practical and helpful a specific product is.

In short:

  1. First, you come up with a blog post where you discuss a specific problem your readers have.
  2. Then, you introduce a relevant affiliate product and explain how it can make things easier for your readers.
  3. If a reader clicks on a link in the post to your affiliate product and makes a purchase, you get a commission – at no extra cost to the reader, of course.

For example, I know for a fact that most beginning bloggers feel like starting a blog is super difficult. They worry about something going wrong with the technical setup when they want to register a domain name and sign up for blog hosting.

And they’re 100% right. Choosing the wrong hosting provider will cost money and countless sleepless hours in the future.

That’s why I’ve tested a bunch of providers out there to find the best one I can use myself and also recommend to my readers.

And the winner is… Bluehost!

Their service is super easy for beginners to set up and they’ve always been there for me with any questions I’ve had.

I even went the extra mile for my readers to help them save money and negotiated an exclusive deal with Bluehost. (And yes, that’s an affiliate link, too.)

How to start a successful blog and make money online - The best blog hosting with Bluehost

Thus, their product solves a practical problem many beginner bloggers face, so it’s the perfect affiliate product for my niche.

My readers can feel comfortable knowing someone has tested the product, so they’ll feel less overwhelmed with starting a blog and can focus on more productive tasks.

Recommended: How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging?

Should I use affiliate marketing to make money with my blog?

All in all, affiliate marketing is a rewarding source of income for most bloggers.

The main advantage is that you don’t need huge amounts of traffic to start making money with your blog this way.

Even if you just have a handful of blog posts with 50 page views and two people end up buying a product, you get a handsome commission.

Needless to say, those commissions can add up nicely once your blog gains more traction and your traffic starts to grow.

As long as your readers trust you and you can show them how your affiliate product can make their lives easier, you’re on the right track.

Summary: Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the biggest income source for bloggers who aren’t selling their own products yet. Thus, it’s the perfect monetization method if you’re just getting started with blogging.

Bear in mind that you’ll need to make it clear that your posts contain affiliate links to products and services you recommend.

Most often, you’d write a review or a step-by-step tutorial post about the product or service you’re promoting. Your content needs to be informative but at the same time show your readers how they can benefit from using it.

Thus, the entire purpose of affiliate marketing is to offer information and to influence potential buyers to purchase the product or sign up for the service you’re promoting.

Related: How to Write the Perfect Blog Post (Every Time): The Ultimate Guide

Method #3: Paid and sponsored content

Another excellent method to make money blogging is to publish paid or sponsored content on your blog.

The idea behind paid content is simple: You team up with a brand and give them an opportunity to publish an article with promotional content for their products or services.

In other words, you’ll write a post where you share your thoughts or experience about a specific product to promote it.

What types of paid content can you use?

Most often, sponsored articles are:

  • Informative reviews
  • Assessments of products or services
  • Comparison articles
  • Analyses of companies or brands
  • Endorsement articles
  • Informational posts about the company or brand

Thus, the main goal of paid content is to help increase the outreach of a brand.

If a company can see that your readers represent their target demographic, they might be interested in publishing paid content on your blog.

Pros and cons of paid content

The biggest issue with paid content is the risk that your blog will lose your personal tone and vibe.

If you’re an established blogger in your niche, your readers “know” you. They’re familiar with your style and how you write in general.

Thus, publishing paid content can quickly make your articles too promotional for your audience. And since each sponsored article translates into higher income, it’s easy to overdo it.

If that happens, your blog will become a glorified billboard. Your readers will notice that you’re not trying to help them anymore like you used to.

Summary: Sponsored and paid content

All in all, sponsored content is a great way to make money blogging. The most important point to keep in mind is to not overdo it.

That being said, your blog can’t survive entirely on paid content. Most often, the promotional tone of paid articles feels too obvious and it can become rather obnoxious.

So, make sure your blog has more organic content than sponsored articles. No one wants to read a blog that’s only self-serving and paid content is more in the interest of the company and the blogger than the reader.

A good rule of thumb for sponsored content is: less is more!

Method #4: Selling your own products

If you’re just getting started with blogging, creating your products to make money blogging may sound like a thing for the future.

But depending on your niche, you might be able to create your first product or service much quicker than you think.

You see, making money with direct sales through your blog is different from displaying ads or doing affiliate marketing.

When you have an original product to sell, you have full control over how to promote it and what to include in the package you offer to your readers.

In other words, you’re not just promoting someone else’s products in the hopes of getting a commission.

Having your own products means that you can connect with potential buyers on a more personal level. Thus, you can create the perfect product for your niche and address every question and problem your readers are struggling with.

But how does it work exactly? How can you sell your products online through your blog?

It all boils down to setting up an online shop on your blog. And don’t worry, even if this sounds too technical, it doesn’t have to be difficult these days.

As long as you have a self-hosted blog set up, you can easily build an e-commerce system into it. Thus, creating a digital product like an e-book and selling it on your blog is no big deal these days.

Recommended: 9 Critical Reasons to Start a Self-Hosted Blog

And let’s face it: selling information and solutions is the easiest way to help your readers.

If you already have enough blog traffic and readers, find out what their biggest problem is. Then, solve it with a digital product such as an e-book. I mean, your readers are already looking for the answers on your blog, so why not help them out?

Method #5: Monetizing your list of email subscribers

You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but here we go:

The money is in the list!

And even though I don’t believe in this idea 100%, it’s not completely wrong.

You see, the thing with email subscribers is that they’re already “warmed up” to what you have to say. They trusted you enough to give you their email address.

Thus, you have a powerful channel for contacting them directly through email.

For example, you can send them offers for affiliate products you think are a good match. Or when you launch your first own product, your subscribers should be the first to know about it and the first to purchase it.

Building an email list is also a great way to drive traffic to your website. Your subscribers might buy products, click on ads, share your content, and much more.

What to keep in mind with email marketing

The most important thing to bear in mind is that your subscribers are your most valuable contacts. They’re the people who are willing to listen to you and buy a product you recommend.

Therefore, make sure you build a relationship with them – based on trust. Keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Give them valuable and useful tips and answer their questions.

And when a relevant product comes along, you can send a promotional email and let them know how it can make their lives easier. Make it clear why you think it’s a good match for them.

If you’re not sure whether you’re going overboard with your promotional emails, here’s a good rule of thumb:

Think about what sorts of emails you like to receive and read yourself.

It’s as simple as that, really.

How to start building an email list

To make money with your email list, you obviously need to start building one right away.

Trust me, it’s never too early to create an opt-in subscription form on your blog, even if you only have a few blog posts published.

Make sure you download my FREE guide on how to launch an email list for your blog in 7 easy steps below:

Which email marketing tools should you use, then?

Here are two powerful list building tools for bloggers I use and recommend:

  • MailerLite: The all-in-one solution to build and manage your email lists. MailerLite was designed for bloggers, so you’ll find tons of helpful tools to help you make the most of your lists.
  • MailChimp: My go-to email marketing tool for my smaller blogs. Insanely powerful and easy to use, so it’s perfect for beginners – and free to use!
Mailerlite – Free email marketing tool for bloggers
MailerLite is the perfect FREE email marketing tool to monetize your blog

And one more thing: if you start collecting email addresses from your readers, make sure you include that in your Privacy Policy. Data security is more important than ever and people are interested in how their data will be used.

If you’re not familiar with this, just get in touch with your email marketing provider – they can help you cover the relevant points in your privacy notice.

How to build a smart blog monetization strategy

Now that you’re more familiar with some of the most popular monetization methods for blogging, it’s time to build a solid money-making strategy.

Related: 4 Powerful Blogging Strategy Tips for Beginners

And hey, if you’re completely new to blogging, don’t worry. You can simply start with one method and work from there.

As I mentioned earlier, each blog is different and what works for my blogs isn’t necessarily the best way to make money blogging for you.

That being said, you need to pick one monetization method and perfect it. If it works, you should improve it and only then move on to the next one. Step by step, you can expand your monetization methods and diversify your income sources.

After all, putting every egg in one basket is never a good idea, right?

And if a certain method doesn’t work for you, simply replace it with another one.

What monetization method should I use for my blog?

The simple reality is that your blog must have a diversified, solid monetization strategy. You should be open and prepared to generate revenue from any and every possible source.

Therefore, your #1 priority should be to focus on what matters more than everything else: your readers. They want helpful information and content that will positively change their lives or assist in their decisions.

To achieve this, you need to stay committed to researching what’s available in your niche and finding valuable solutions to your readers. As long as you can provide them with useful articles and answer their questions, they’ll keep coming back. Little by little, your readership will grow, they’ll start trusting you more, and your blog income will grow, too.

To help you get started, here’s a short summary of the methods we discussed above:

Display ads:

  • Pros: The fastest way to make money blogging, easy to set up, 100% passive income
  • Cons: Relatively small income potential, requires a lot of traffic

Affiliate marketing:

  • Pros: Easy to start with, big income potential, doesn’t require a large readership
  • Cons: Can sound too promotional if not done correctly, takes some work to set up affiliate accounts and create blog posts about affiliate products, commissions vary a lot

Sponsored content:

  • Pros: Allows you to work with brands you like, steady and high revenue potential, no need to worry about commissions or link clicks
  • Cons: It takes time to build a blog that brands are interested in, requires a large readership, you need solid negotiation skills, your blog can easily become a billboard

Selling your own products:

  • Pros: Full control over the product, direct interaction with buyers, you get 100% of the revenue
  • Cons: Takes work to create, setting up an online shop can feel difficult

Monetizing your email list:

  • Pros: Direct channel to your readers, not dependent on your social media following or search engine rankings, easy to set up and manage
  • Cons: Takes consistent work to keep your subscribers “warm” and to avoid sounding too promotional

Final thoughts: How to monetize your blog

Even if you’re just starting out with blogging.

Even if you have a full-time job and can’t spend hours on your blog every day.

You can start monetizing your traffic and make money blogging step-by-step.

I know this might sound like a lot to take in right now. But keep in mind that you’ll build your unique monetization strategy over a longer period of time.

The best way to find out how to monetize your blog is to start with one method you find relevant. Then, learn how to make the most out of it. Monitor the results, tweak your strategy, and then move on to the next one.

Start with display ads, for example. They’re easy to set up and they don’t require much work on a daily basis. You can check your reports once a month, for example, and see if there’s something you could do to improve your ad income.

Then, move on to affiliate marketing. Find awesome products your readers would be interested in and apply for their affiliate programs. When your application is approved, write a top-notch article about the product and see how your readers like it. Trust me, you can make your first affiliate sale much faster than you think!

Here are a few related posts you might want to read, too:

If you found this post about how to monetize your blog helpful, drop me a line in the comments below! What monetization methods are you using? Which ones are performing the best for you?

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others! Thanks for your support!

Happy blogging!
– Mikke

5 best ways to make money blogging - Blogging Explorer
How to Monetize Your Blog? 5 Powerful Ways to Make Money BloggingHow to Monetize Your Blog? 5 Powerful Ways to Make Money Blogging

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About The Author

I'm Mikke, a passionate blogger and online entrepreneur addicted to delicious coffee and sharing my growth hacks for small businesses. I'm also a professional web designer and web developer. I help beginner bloggers make money blogging so they can stay home and spend more time with their friends and family, too! Come join me on Pinterest or Twitter!

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Mina Kim
Mina Kim
August 28, 2019 11:13 am

Learned a lot from this post! Thanks for sharing.
But I have a question though, when is the right time to start a mailing list?

Wealthy bites
Wealthy bites
September 14, 2019 7:51 am

Awesome content
it is not good to depend only 1 income source. Adsense is the best program we can earn some good money from our blog.
Selling ads and sponsored posts are what works best for my main blog. Thanks for the share!
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Hi, I’m Mikke

About me: Mikke, the founder of Blogging Explorer

I'm an online entrepreneur and blogger, here to help you start a blog, increase blog traffic, and make money online.

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