Two words: blog monetization.
It’s time to make some money off of all the hard work you put in to creating content that helps people achieve their goals, solves problems for them, and is entertaining through and through.
While you may not be able to make money writing blog posts on your own website, you can use them to increase your website’s traffic and then monetize your blog in other ways.
In this post, we’ll look at 20+ different ways to monetize a blog and make money from it. Whether your blog gets over 100,000 unique monthly visitors or less than 100, we’ve got a few tried and tested monetization strategies in this post for you.
It’s fair to say that monetizing a blog isn’t easy work. You’ll have to put in a lot of time and effort in setting things up, maintaining them, and being patient and (more importantly) consistent throughout. It’s tough but I guarantee that you’ll be able to set up a passive income stream for yourself somewhere down the line and it’ll all be worth it.
We’ll look at how you can:
How to Use This Resource: Read through each blog monetization tip and then click on the Resources and Tools to implement it on your own site!
Google’s ad network, AdSense, is one of the most popular ways to start monetizing your blog. Their AdWords program, which follows a Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising model, is easy to get started with. The key idea here is that you post an ad on your blog and whenever someone clicks on it, you make money.
To get started, you’ll have to apply for Google AdSense and get approved. Once that’s done, you’ll be asked to place the ad code on your website. And that’s it. Whenever someone clicks on the ad, it’ll register in the back-end and you’ll be paid for it.
There are a handful of different types of ads available – banner ads, in-text links, pop-ups – and the amount you get paid for each click varies from company to company. The code that you insert into your website automatically identifies what type of content you’re publishing and how much traffic your blog gets to find relevant advertisements for you.
There is one huge problem with this monetization strategy: Ad Blockers.
Some websites (like Forbes) automatically detect ad blockers and request their visitors to disable them in order to view their page. If you’re getting a decent amount of traffic on your blog then implementing this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you’re just starting out, it can be off-putting to your visitors and you could end up losing traffic.
If you have a pretty large blog that people regularly search through using your search bar then you can consider replacing it with Google’s Custom Search Engine (CSE) to make some money. Every time a visitor searches for something on your blog, the CSE will display ads in your site’s search results page. And if that visitor clicks on the ad, you get paid for it.
To get started with this monetization method, you’ll first need to connect your site’s search form with your Google AdSense account. It’s pretty easy to setup and, similar to AdWords, you’ll be asked to insert some code into your website.
The key advantage of implementing CSE is that the click rates are fairly high since the ads displayed on your site’s search results page will be directly related to the visitor’s search query. And the disadvantage to this approach is that you’re essentially redirecting your visitors to other websites (which may even be your competitor’s sites).
Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that are displayed above the fold on websites and cover the entire interface of the website. The ads that display before the homepage are called prestitial ads where those that are displayed when transitioning from one content page to the next (on the same website) are called interstitial ads.
While placing interstitial ads on your blog is technically a viable monetization strategy, a lot of it comes down to how you implement it. Google is penalizing websites using interstitial ads that make content less accessible e.g. by using intrusive pop-ups with small close buttons or standalone ads that you need to click to reach the content. That said, if you implement your interstitial ad responsibly then you won’t be penalized e.g. interstitial banner ads that take up a reasonable amount of screen real estate and are easily dismissible.
If you’d rather not sign up with Google AdSense or other ad networks because you want full control over which ads are displayed on your site then you can always sell ad space on your blog. And there are a number of benefits to selling ad space.
For instance, you can choose to charge companies a flat fee per month for displaying their ad on your site. You can choose where ads will be displayed, what size they will be (in case of banner ads), rates based on ad placement, etc.
How much you charge for a particular ad space on your website depends on a number of factors including what you blog about, how much traffic a particular page gets, where on that page the ad is placed (above the fold, in the sidebar, within the content), etc.
If there are a lot of jobs circulating in your niche and people are constantly looking to get hired – whether it’s a remote job or on-site – you could set up a job board on your website. What happens in the back-end is that businesses and companies looking for employees contact you to put a job posting up on the board for a given number of days and pay you a flat rate for it.
Writing product reviews for companies who are looking to promote their product/service and are willing to pay for it is one of the simplest ways to make some money from your blog. Most of the time, companies in your niche who are interested in sponsoring reviews will approach you (via email or through your contact form) to see if you’re willing to promote their product for a fee.
Depending upon the niche you’re in, your personal blogging style, and what the product is, you can negotiate either a flat fee or a per word rate for the review article.
One major benefit of writing product reviews is that you can generate more traffic for your own blog while making some extra money on the side. And if this is something you’re interested in doing full-time, you might even consider putting up a media kit on your website that lets interested businesses know how much you charge for paid product reviews and what they can expect from you (how many unique monthly visitors you get, who your target audience is, whether you’ll be promoting the post on social media channels).
For those of you who have a loyal readership on your website or blog and are regularly publishing high-quality content that delivers value or solves a problem, you’re in a position to offer premium content.
How this works is that you restrict access to certain content by putting it behind a paywall. You can choose to give a brief preview of the content (e.g. display the excerpt or introduction) and allow visitors to view the full article after they pay for it.
Offering premium content through your website gives you full control over how you decide to set it up, how much you want to charge for it, and what type of content you want to make premium. For example, you could publish shorter (unrestricted) articles on your blog regularly and then publish one long-form (restricted) piece every week as premium content. The benefit of this approach is that first-time visitors on your blog will have a general idea of what you talk about and (if it’s really that good) they might be interested in paying for premium pieces.
And, of course, you have the freedom to publish all kinds of content on your site. So, your premium content can be research papers, video courses, webinars, data-driven pieces, algorithms that solve a particular problem, infographics, etc. Basically, whatever works in your niche.
While premium content is all about restricting access to selected articles (or other content types), membership sites are websites that are fully premium. What this means is that in order to access any content on the website, the user would have to sign up and pay either a one-time fee or recurring fee depending on your business model.
One thing to keep in mind is that setting up a membership site isn’t for everyone. First of all, you need to have a good marketing strategy in mind that’s going to help you convert visitors into paying subscribers. (It helps if you already have a community of followers.) Second, you’re going to need really good content on your website that people are willing to pay for.
If you want to take a content-first approach then you could publish in-depth video tutorials, research papers, or case studies. And if you want to take a community-driven approach then you could set up a club membership site (with a focus on events, lessons, special discounts), an association membership site (with a focus on offering networking opportunities or educational resources), or private discussion forums.
If you’re using your blog to impart your knowledge on a particular topic to your audience then you have the opportunity to make a premium online course out of it. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to follow the traditional online course approach and make video content or grade exams.
How you go about structuring your course depends a lot on the niche you’re targeting. For instance, if you wanted to create a course around teaching people how to get started with freelance writing, you would probably only need a handful of high-quality guides i.e. written content. Whereas if you wanted to create an online course that teaches people how to do eye makeup or cook Italian cuisine then you’d probably want to create video tutorials.
You’ll also have to figure out how you’re going to hand out course material. Two common ways to sell online courses is via automated emails or selling complete resource packs (as downloadable products) through your website. This, again, depends on how you structure your course.
Virtual summits are online conferences where the host brings together experts and influencers from within their niche for interviews. The conference is then broadcast online for attendees to watch.
There are a few different ways you can earn money from hosting a virtual summit. For starters, you’d be selling tickets to the summit that grant attendees access to view your conference recordings. And if you’re selling products or services through your blog then you can use your introduction time to talk about that and attract new customers/clients. Hosting virtual summits is also a great way to build your email/subscribers list.
Creating a standalone private forum that only allows members to access it and interact with other members is also a viable blog monetization strategy. Admittedly, this is pretty difficult to set up since there are many free forums out there. But if you’re able to build a strong community and produce exceptional content then it just might take off.
The monetization strategy with private forums is similar to that of membership websites. You can charge users a flat fee (or go with a recurring payment model) to become members. And if you want to get a little creative, you could even consider offering multiple membership tiers.
Live, online workshops (also called webinars) are interactive online seminars where you talk about your area of expertise, demonstrate original techniques, and help attendees implement them.
You can make money from your online workshop by charging attendees for seats. What makes these workshops popular (and an excellent monetization strategy) is that they allow the attendees to interact with you – live. As long as it helps your audience reach some goal, they’ll be willing to pay for it.
If done right, selling your own products is the most lucrative monetization method. The thing is that creating a product takes a lot of time and effort. The rewards are unparalleled – you’re able to build a brand, establish a community around it, and (most importantly) keep all the profit.
You can sell physical products or digital goods. You can sell in a local market or to a global audience. You can price it however you want. The opportunity is ever-present.
The difficult part is figuring out a product that solves a problem or fills a need, researching it, and then creating it. As long as it’s somehow related to what you’ve built your blog around, it should take off with your audience. But once you have a product and a marketing strategy in place, you can sit back and relax while the money flows in.
Readers appreciate the amount of time bloggers spend creating content. Selling custom merchandise through your blog gives your viewership an opportunity to support you (and help keep your blog running) by buying products with your blog’s name or logo on it. You could offer custom t-shirts, caps, mouse pads, phone skins, etc. designed by you through your blog.
Though it might seem a bit outdated, writing and selling short e-books is still a pretty good way to begin monetizing your blog. The thing about short e-books is that they’re a lot easier to write than regular books and they can be as short as a few pages. And if you’re already publishing long-form content on your website’s blog then you might as well make it just a little bit longer and create an e-book out of it.
If this seems like a practical blog monetization method to you then you might want to consider publishing your e-book through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (or a similar platform) because there are already millions of people out there who trust and buy from Amazon. And you can market your e-book through your blog and social media networks. Another major benefit of selling e-books is that it lets you make money in an on-going stream.
If you’re not looking for an on-going income stream then selling your blog for a profit is also technically one way to monetize it. In its simplest case, you would decide that you no longer want to continue running your blog and then put your site up for auction (on a site like Flippa) and sell it to the highest bidder.
There are a few drawbacks, as well. For starters, if you’re looking to make a sizable profit off your blog then it’s going to need to be inherently flexible and have development potential. And, of course, it’ll sell for a higher price if it already has a decent amount of traffic on it and generates a good amount of user engagement.
If you’re producing high-quality content on your blog that delivers value or helps solve a problem then there’s always a chance that some of them will want to hire you for a one-time project or an on-going gig. Again, depending upon what your blog is about, you could be asked to guest speak at an event, design a logo, write a series of articles, create fitness plans, or co-author an e-book.
And if it’s something you have the time for and are interested in pursuing then you could start out by offering it as a part-time service to see how things go. If all goes well, you can go all in and offer it as a service full-time.
An online consultancy or coaching service is a great way to make money through your blog – even if you’re a newcomer. First off, you’ll have to figure out your target audience’s pain points and then see if you can offer some sort of coaching service around them. For instance, if your audience is having trouble implementing on-page SEO strategies, you could hop on an hour long call with them and offer some guidance.
And then there’s also the done-for-you consultancy option which is pretty similar to traditional consultancy except that you solve the problem yourself instead of simply explaining to your client how it’s done. Following our SEO example, this would mean you would implement the SEO strategies yourself on their website. And the best part is that you can charge more for done-for-you consultancy services since they’re essentially a combination of consultancy and freelance work.
If you’ve somehow managed to rack up a good amount of email subscribers then you’re in a position to promote other business’ products or content to your email list for a fee. This blog monetization approach is kind of like a combination of paid reviews and affiliate marketing.
There are three main ways to advertise a product or promote a service to your email list. You can promote the product directly to your subscribers, take an affiliate marketing approach, or simply display ads in your email’s signature. Your clients get to market to your audience and get to make a little extra money on the side. It’s a win-win.
Promoting affiliate products through your blog is one of the most popular ways to monetize your website. It is one of the best options for bloggers who are just starting out or don’t have a product of their own to sell.
How this works is you get paid a commission for every sale that results from a recommendation that you made. Based on the affiliate program you’ve signed up with, you’ll be able to put up banner ads or affiliate links on your websites that redirect the visitor to the original product page. If the visitor buys the product, you get a percentage of the sale.
It’s best to promote products that are somehow relevant to what you blog about. So, for instance, if you wrote an article about weight loss then you could search for businesses (in the health and fitness niche) offering affiliate programs and recommend products related to weight loss through your article such as weight loss supplements, exercise equipment, etc.
If you’re running a self-hosted WordPress website then you can create a section detailing the blogging tools you use on your own website and add affiliate links to them. For example, you could promote the theme you’re using, plugins for subscription forms/e-commerce/page builders, and web hosting plans. The key benefit here is that your site’s visitors will be able to see it in action and if it looks good and they’re in the market for themes or plugins, they might be compelled to buy it to use on their own website.
Affiliate marketing doesn’t stop at selling affiliate products only. You could also be promoting relevant services through your blog by partnering with businesses within and outside of your niche. For instance, if you’re a web development agency then you might consider promoting a logo design service to your clients.
This way, you’ll be helping your client find a reputable company that will design a logo for them and you can earn a commission by referring your client to the logo design company you’re an affiliate member of. Plus, referring your target audience to high-quality services that could help them achieve their goals makes you an excellent resource for information and an authority in your niche.
What are some of the ways you monetize your blog? We’d love to hear from you so let us know by commenting below!