Before I even started this blog, I never even knew it was possible to earn an income doing so. I thought blogs were solely for entertainment or educational purposes.
Then one day, my husband (business major/guru) introduced me to the concept of starting an online business. He knew I loved to write, so he figured, why not earn a little cash doing and sharing what I love?
I thought to myself, this sounds great, but can you earn money blogging?
Upon learning that it was not only possible to monetize my writing, but I could actually make a living, I knew right then, that I wanted to turn it into a business.
Now, almost a year later, I have had my fair share of learning and growing when it comes to monetizing a blog, and I want to share all of my tips with you.
If you’ve decided to take your blog to the next level, from side hobby to side hustle, but you have no clue where to begin, sit tight because I’m about to show you.
So how do bloggers make money? Well, it’s simple, it essentially breaks down to these five things:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
- Physical Products
- Electronic Downloads
But before I get into the specifics, we must first understand the basics.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission through purchases made on my site. This is at no extra cost to you, it simply keeps my site up & running. Click here to read more about this is my affiliate disclosure.
How To Monetize A Blog
Before we go any further, it’d important to make sure you are self-hosted, meaning you own your domain name and you are web hosting on a network or server that you have set up yourself. Trust me, this is easier than it sounds.
For my host, I use Bluehost. It’s extremely simpler, self-explanatory, and affordable. I have nothing but great things to say about them. So if you need a great platform to host your website, check them out!
Along with Bluehost, I use WordPress.org to create, design and build my website. To make things even easier, WordPress is downloaded and installed upon set up with Bluehost. To learn more about the setup and starting your own blog, check out my other post: How To Start A Blog For Beginners.
It’s important to have these things set up and running before you can monetize your blog, because you could run into major problems earning any money, seeing as you don’t actually own your website unless you’re self-hosted.
1. Affiliate Marketing
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission by promoting products sold by other companies.
For example, you order a baby toy on Amazon and your baby goes nuts over it, and you just have to share it with your other momma friends, so their babies can indulge as well!
You already use and love the product, and you want to share it with your friends, so why not get paid for doing so? That’s what affiliate marketing is, and it the number one way bloggers make money.
In fact, it’s the highest paying form of income for Momma Survival Guide.
The best part is, almost every brand you can think of has an affiliate program, all you have to do is apply, and almost all programs are free to join.
And the even better part is when your reader clicks on your link, and shops around, you get a commission on everything they purchased during that shopping period, not just the product you recommended!
Needless to say, if you’re looking to monetize your blog, affiliate marketing is a great way to go. Just be sure to always disclose when a post contains affiliate links.
Finding Affiliate Programs
So how do you find affiliate programs? It’s easy. Like I said almost every brand has an affiliate program, so it’s only a Google search away.
Just go to the search bar and type in “brand + affiliate program” for example, one of the go-to affiliate programs I utilize is the Amazon Associates program.
Just type in “Amazon + Affiliate program” and it will take you to an account set up a page where you can fill out and submit an application.
Once you’re approved, you will be able to create links, banners, and even custom advertisements to insert into your posts.
Some other affiliate programs I use are:
2. Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are a combination of affiliate marketing and advertising. They are another common way to earn money blogging, however, it is a little more difficult to land a gig, until you have built a reputation and a good following.
That being said, if you’re dedicated you can participate in sponsored posts, and get paid to write about a specific product.
Choose a product you believe in because your readers will see through a post that isn’t authentic. And you must always disclose if a post is sponsored, not only to create transparency with your reader but also for legal reasons.
So can you earn money blogging? Yes, you can, and another thing to keep in mind with sponsored blog posts, income doesn’t always come in the form of money. You can also be compensated with free merchandise from the company you’re representing.
Finding Sponsored Opportunities
Contact Brands Directly
This form of finding opportunity is a two-way street, however, as a beginner blogger, chances are you will be approaching brands far more often than they approach you.
However, that doesn’t mean brands can’t or won’t reach out to you. Until then, start marketing yourself to brands and pitch them as to why your blog would be a good representation of their product and why you would like to advertise for them.
This can be in the form of an ‘about me page’ on your blog, even to a ‘media kit’ which is a fancy way of saying a blogger’s resume. You can contact them by email with a brief description and a link to your ‘about me’ page or an attachment of your media kit.
Prepare yourself for rejection, and be prepared to be left on ‘read’ but don’t stop trying! Coming from personal experience as a new blogger, I was rejected by brand after brand until finally, one brand said yes!
All it takes is one brand to say yes one time and you can start building a relationship and eventually build an impressive rapport to market yourself to other brands.
Sponsored Blogging Apps (Blogging Networks)
These are similar to affiliate programs in the sense that you can join for free. However, they differ because they don’t provide you with links, rather they provide you with sponsored blog post opportunities, that you can choose to accept or deny.
Some blogger networks (apps) are:
- Heartbeat (mobile app specific to Instagram)
- Bloggers Connected
- Bloggers Required (Also a Facebook Group)
Keep in mind, most of these networks are free to join, however, most have stipulations based on your following. For example, Linquia requires that you have at least 50,000 social followers to join.
To find more networks, you can do a quick Google search. Just type in ‘blogger networks sponsored posts.’
This is actually how I landed my first sponsored post. I was part of a blogging community on Facebook, and one of the members shared a post looking for brand ambassadors for her baby clothing and bedding company. I applied, and she chose me to write her sponsored post.
I was not only compensated with money, but also with a free product from the company.
So look for Facebook groups that include opportunities.
I also like to point out that I only apply for products and companies that fit my niche, and that I would actually use myself. I would never promote a product that I don’t love or believe in. I also appreciate a company that sends their merchandise, to help get a better feel for their product.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Only advertise the products you use and believe in.
3. Physical Products
Another popular way of monetizing a blog is through selling physical products or opening an online store on your blog.
Adding a shop that includes products related to your niche is a very powerful way to make money.
The trick is understanding your audience so you know which products to promote and sell in your online store. It could be anything from a book you’ve written to clothing to custom phone cases. Whatever fits your brand!
Something that’s important to understand with selling physical products, is that it can be time-consuming (ordering products, shipping, and taking orders), and it can also be a bit of an investment. Both of these are fine as long as you go into it with the mindset to invest and dedicate your time to it.
Selling physical products on your blog also requires an extra step in the setup process. You must first ensure that your WordPress theme is compatible with some form of e-commerce (online store) and then you must install an e-commerce plugin.
Popular e-commerce plugins include:
4. Electronic Downloads
Once you’ve become an authority in your niche, your readers will be loyal to you and will seek your support and advice, therefore creating a need for an electronic download pertaining to a specific topic in your niche.
Electronic downloads are also extremely versatile. They can range anywhere from an e-book to an e-course, to an online fitness routine and diet.
Similar to physical products, electronic downloads are a great way to make money and are even easier than physical products.
This is because electronic downloads don’t take near the amount of time or money to produce, and you skip the step of taking orders and shipping!
The best tool I’ve found for creating digital resources, specifically e-books, and e-courses, is SendOwl. It’s a platform known for creating and selling electronic products. They help walk you through every step of the way and make the creating process easy for you and the downloading process easy for your reader/consumer.
Advertising is probably one of the most common types of monetizing, that comes to mind pertaining to the online world.
Think about it, the internet is littered with ads.
When it comes to having ads on your website, it’s pretty self-explanatory. But how does it really work?
Advertising is actually a little more complicated than it appears on the surface but don’t let that scare you.
Before I started blogging I had no idea that you had to join a program and generate a specific link in order to advertise on your website.
That being said, one of the most popular advertising networks for beginner bloggers is Google Adsense. Simply fill out an application and wait to get approved. (hint: this may take a few tries especially if your website is brand new).
Once you’re approved, copy the specifically generated Adsense code given to you, into the of your website.
Once you are up and running, you can leave it as is and Google Adsense will generate ads for you that are automatically placed on your site, or you can configure Auto ads, which are more specific to your audience.
Either way, you can now earn money based on clicks and impressions on your ads.
- Impressions (CPM): The number of page views your post receives, you will be paid for each ad on your screen.
- Clicks (CPC): The number of people that actually click on the ad being displayed on your page.
The rates vary based on the advertiser, and Google Adsense has a payment threshold minimum of $100. Meaning you won’t be paid until you’ve earned a minimum of $100 through advertisements.
For this reason, many experienced bloggers choose a different route other than Google Adsense when it comes to advertising on your blog. Networks like MediaVine, for example, have competitive rates, earning bloggers more money with each click or impression.
The catch is, networks like MediaVine have a stipulation that in order to be approved you must have a minimum of 25,000 monthly viewers.
So, for beginner bloggers, Google Adsense is perfect because it’s free and easy to join without the stipulation of a certain number of followers.
Can You Earn Money Blogging?
So can you earn money blogging? I think we all know the answer now, Of course, you can!
But, just how much money can you make through blogging? Well honestly, the range varies widely form no money at all to the sky’s the limit.
The blogs that make the most money have been around long enough to build a loyal and large following meaning they have more sales and views, earning them more income.
These blogs also post quality blog articles consistently and frequently, which keeps their readers interested and up to date.
So, the moral of the story is, you can make as much money as you want, it all depends on how much time and work you put into it. Monetizing your blog is only half the battle, the rest is simply dedication, hard work, and consistency.
But I can tell you from experience, after 9 months of consistently posting on my blog, I have seen that earning an income is possible. It’s a slow process, but over the last few months, I have begun to see results, making all of my hard work and time well spent.
If you’re interested in creating a successful blog to earn an income check out my other posts:
I want to hear from you! If you liked this post or found it helpful I would love to hear about it.
Still have questions? Ask away! I will be happy to do my best to answer them!
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