Sunday, 18 Apr 2021
Make Money Online

How to Make Money Blogging Successfully

You will learn a number of different methods to make money with a blog and might be tempted to try all of them.

Don’t.

The best way to make money is going to be unique to your blog and audience. Some topics don’t make any sense to have a video course while others might lend themselves better to online services.

Even though I just told you not to try and pursue all of the different ways to make money online, I will tell you that it is always wise to have multiple revenue streams. You don’t want to depend on a single source of revenue because if that dries up, you are left with nothing.

You’ve been waiting long enough so here is how you can start to make money with your blog.

Advertising

I put this one first not because it is the most important or the most lucrative, but because it seems to be the default revenue stream people think of when they get ready to start a blog.

Let me get this off my chest.

I hate using ads to make money.

I can’t stand it and that’s why you never see ads on my sites.

Why is that?

There are a number of reasons.

  1. People ignore ads. When is the last time you clicked on an ad? I don’t even see ads anymore because I have an adblocker installed on my browser. If people aren’t clicking your ads then that turns advertisers away. If people, like me, can’t even see the ads then what is the point?
  2. It’s dependent on traffic. Traffic goes up and down and you never know when it is going to do a major dip. Most advertisers pay based on the number of views their ad will get. This turns you into a traffic monster. You start to look for creative ways to get any kind of traffic, no matter if it’s good traffic or not. This can easily lead to your site becoming another junk site that you try to avoid.
  3. You don’t control the experience. I’m a strong proponent of controlling the user experience. With ads, you control almost none of it. You don’t do the design for the ads and you don’t do the design of the site at the other end of the ad. All you can do is control where the ad is shown. This makes you a very poor middleman.
  4. If you aren’t part of an ad network then you are constantly searching for new companies to advertise on your site. This one was always a pain in the ass for me. I wanted to spend time making my site better, but if I ignored selling my ad space then I wouldn’t have money to continue to make my site better. You can join an ad network, but that means you are giving up a percentage of the revenue. Work hard to only get 50% of the money? Bleh.
  5. There is a low ceiling for earning potential. There is only so much that people will pay to advertise on a site so while your site continues to grow in popularity, your ad rates could very well stay the same. That means the only way to increase ad revenue is by showing more ads which then devalues the other ads and your site.
  6. The time you invest to make any significant amount of money is the same amount of time it takes to build a course or other offerings. If you want to make good money with ads (in the thousands), then you need to get 100s of thousands or millions of pageviews a month. This takes time and in that time you could just as easily build up your mailing list, create an infoproduct and make thousands whenever you want.

I understand ads are one of the easiest ways to get started, but I just don’t like the sacrifices you have to make to implement them. There are better ways to monetize your site.

To make a healthy amount of money from advertising ($1,000+ a month) you need to produce hundreds of thousands of pageviews minimum. The thing is, if you get that much traffic then you will get a better return providing your own products and services.

Take a look at this income report from Making Sense of Cents. Michelle did over 400,000 pageviews in the month and made over $90,000. $1,700 came from display advertising.

Pretty amazing, right?

Over $70,000 came from affiliate marketing and her own products. If you get enough traffic it becomes much easier to make good money with your own stuff than it is simply advertising others.

There are some caveats to all of this. If a quality web host came to me and said they will pay me $10,000 a month to be the one web host I talk about then I would definitely consider it as long as they were quality. Everyone has a price, but for me, it has to be well worth it.

I currently use ads on two of my sites but they are supplemental income to the other revenue streams.

If you think your blog and niche are best suited to go the ad route then I would suggest joining an ad network that specializes in blog advertising.

How much can you expect to make with these networks? The CPM ranges between $5-$12. What this means is that for every 1,000 pageviews your blog receives you will earn $5-12.

You also should know that advertisements just don’t have to be in the form of a banner in your sidebar. There are other formats for advertising as well.

Product Reviews and Giveaways

Companies will often approach bloggers to write product reviews because they have an audience that is engaged. They will pay you to review the product and might even let you keep the product! That sounds like a sweet deal, but you need to be careful about reviews.

Why?

Because what happens if you don’t like the product? If you’re like me then you want to write an honest review about it, but companies don’t pay for bad reviews. They are paying you money and giving you a free product because they expect a good review.

Product giveaways have the same function. A company will give you a product to offer as a giveaway which means you have a chance to grow and reward your Tribe. However, just because you aren’t writing a glowing review about the product doesn’t mean that your Tribe won’t associate that product with you.

If it’s good enough to offer to them as a giveaway then that must mean you are okay with the product.

Newsletter and Podcast Sponsorships

Newsletter and podcast sponsorship don’t go on your blog, but they do follow the same principles. If I had a podcast I probably wouldn’t mind giving a shout out to a business. At the moment, that is the only way to monetize podcasts effectively.

And by effective I mean some people are making a killing with podcast sponsorships. John Lee Dumas regularly does over $50,000 a month from podcast sponsorships.

I keep ads out of my newsletters because they are geared towards my audience. I am providing them with some value that will later translate into more revenue for me. Throwing in ads just distracts from the purpose of the newsletter.

However, if I had a general newsletter that was just a bunch of links to cool stuff I’ve found, I wouldn’t mind putting ads on it.

Sponsored Posts

These are similar to product reviews, but with sponsored posts, you are working hand-in-hand with the company. It is important that you disclose to your readers that this is a sponsored post because you do not want to lose their trust.

If you were to go down the route of sponsored posts I would suggest that you keep them to a minimum. People come for your content that brings them value, not for the content that a company paid you to write.

Can You Make Money Blogging Without Ads?

Yes, but it takes some work. However, the rewards are far greater than simple advertising can provide for you.

In my opinion, display advertising is a dying model that is slowly being phased out so it’s important to not make it your long term revenue model.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing means you are promoting another company’s products or services and you get a commission when someone makes a purchase. This is similar to advertising but is not dependent on the traffic you receive.

how to make money blogging with affiliate marketing

I like affiliate marketing when it’s done in a way that provides your audience with value. It can be too easy to get caught up in the act of throwing affiliate links all over the place with the hope that someone will click one and make a purchase.

Instead, you should only include affiliate links when it enhances the content around it.

For example, in How to Start a Blog I have affiliate links in the post because they complement the content that is being written. However, if I stuck in an affiliate link for a Talking Elmo it wouldn’t make any sense at all and would actually detract from the content.

If you’re curious to learn more about affiliate marketing, I’ve created a nice and simple beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing just for you over at HiLoSolo.

Services

Many people that work for themselves are freelancers. As a freelancer, you offer a service and get paid in return. Think of a web designer or app developer. A blog is a great way to attract potential clients and push them onto your services.

Here is a short list of the different services that you can offer. By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it will certainly give you an idea of what you can offer.

  • Administrative Assistant
  • App Developer
  • Audio/Video Editor
  • Coach/Mentor
  • Personal Assistant
  • Consultant
  • Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Writer

As you can see there really is no limit to the services that you can offer. If you do decide to go this route don’t let your blogging fall behind. Your blog acts as your marketing so as long as you continue to grow it, you should find you have a steady stream of clients knocking on your door.

Read more How to make money online effectively

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