We've discovered the secret to making a million dollars from blogging.
Okay, maybe not a million dollars, but a pretty sweet payout that could earn you as much as six or seven figures after you're well-established in your niche.
These days, it seems like nearly everyone has a blog, but how many are actually using their platform for more than just a soapbox?
We've gone through some of the most effective ways to make money through blogging. Thousands of bloggers today are using these tactics to monetize their blogs, and you can do the same. Interested in becoming a seven figure earner? We'll show you how to turn your dreams into reality.
6 ways to make money blogging
If you think blogging is dead or it is just a hobby, then think again. Studies show that 77% of internet users read blogs, and each month, approximately 409 million people read more than 20 million web pages. When strategically promoted and monetized, blogging can earn you a steady income each month.
To monetize your blog well, it is super important to niche down to cater to a narrower audience. Gone are the days when blogs on broader topics like “health” and “travel” would do well.
Today, the competition in these broad categories is too high. Hence, establishing your authority in such a broad category, driving traffic to your website, and monetizing it will be extremely difficult. Picking a specific niche for your blog and catering to a relatively smaller audience will help you gain authority in that niche. This will help you monetize your blog well.
Also, when you go super specific with your niche, the competition for ranking on search engines will be comparatively low. Hence, niching down will also help you with SEO. This can be beneficial for monetizing your blog as search engines are one of the major traffic sources.
Monetizing your blog content works best when you get a significant amount of traffic each month. This might not be possible right from the start. It might take anywhere from four months to one year to start seeing consistent traffic to your blog.
You can start implementing the monetization strategies given in this guide, right when you start seeing around 100 unique visitors per month. But it'll take time to earn a significant income each month. When you do start earning money from your blog, the growth will be exponential. Hence, patience is the key here.
Now, let’s look at the top six tried and true ways of making money from your blog.
1. Sell courses and services
By creating and promoting a blog, you are establishing your authority and expertise in the niche. You are offering expert advice to your target audience. Hence, along the same lines, you can monetize your niche expertise by selling courses and services.
Selling online courses and services is one of the most popular and effective ways of monetizing your blog. In fact, 45% of bloggers who earn $50,000 or more per year sell their own products or services.
Online courses created by bloggers tend to sell more. This is because through your blog you initially put out tons of free content. You add value and solve your target audience’s pain points. This helps to build a relationship between you and your audience.
Over time, your audience will have immense trust in you. So when you pitch them your online courses, you are bound to get more conversions. Creating and promoting an online course takes lots of time and effort. But once you put out a successful online course, you can generate sales from it for years.
You might have to work on updating the course content (if applicable) and promoting it through your email list, social media, or paid ads. But other than this effort, most of your income will be passive. This is the reason why most bloggers swear by this approach of monetization.
Here are the steps that you can follow to create an online course for your blog:
Connect with your audience and study them to understand their pain points. You can do this by engaging with your blog readers or going through your blog’s comments section. You can also check other forums and competitors. This step is important because, without market demand, your online courses won't sell successfully.
Create a structure for your online courses. How many courses do you want to create? What topics do you want to cover? How in-depth do you wanna go on each topic?
Start creating the course. You can host your course on online learning platforms. Ensure that you create high-quality content that will be truly valuable to your audience.
Promote your course. You can do this by redirecting traffic from your blog to your course. Add your course to your homepage. Also, pitch your course from relevant blog posts. Another great way to pitch your online course is through your email list. Hype up the benefits before the launch and create an email sequence to promote your course. You can also use other means like webinars and paid ads.
Apart from online courses, you can also offer mentorship or coaching services. In fact, you can use these coaching and mentorship sessions to test the market demands before you launch your online course.
Through mentorship services, you’ll understand what type of curriculum would be the most appealing to your target audience. Based on this, you can design your online course’s structure.
2. Offer premium blog content
Through blogging, you put out tons of content for free. By adding value to your followers' lives on a regular basis, you've probably earned their trust – so much so that they might be willing to pay for your premium content.
Almost all information we need today is available on the internet for free. Then why would your consumers pay for premium content? Well, you've created a loyal fan base that has genuinely benefited from your content. These people would be willing to pay for your premium content as they know they can get benefited even more through it.
Additionally, you can differentiate your free content from your premium content by making it more in-depth and adding more structure to it. You can also make your premium content more personalized to fit each of your consumers’ needs. Thus, creating premium content is definitely something that you should try for monetizing your blog. Here are a couple of ways to create premium content:
Create a membership platform
Most of us have access to content, but we lack guidance. The same goes for your audience too. They might have all your content to act on, but they might miss a direction and lack accountability. These gaps can be filled using membership platforms.
You can create a membership platform and promote it to your current readers. You can create a separate landing page and direct traffic to it from your blog posts, social media, and email newsletters.
On your membership platform, you can offer personalized guidance and support, and access to premium content. You can also hold workshops and webinars exclusively for these members. Here’s a brief explanation of how you can create your own membership platform:
Plan your membership model. What are you planning to offer them? How many tiers of membership do want to offer? How are you planning on keeping the members engaged?
Decide other aspects of your membership platform such as pricing and the software to be used.
Plan a launch for your membership platform and create hype around it. Promote it to your blog visitors on all possible platforms.
Launch your membership platform using a sales webinar.
Offer content upgrades
Content upgrades are bonus content that you offer to the reader from blog posts and articles. From your blog posts, you can pitch content upgrades relevant to that blog post. These can be in any format, such as video tutorial series, eBooks, templates, checklists, comprehensive guides, and others. Since the reader is going through the blog post, they will likely be interested in the content upgrade as well.
3. Use affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is the process where you earn commissions by promoting others’ products. This forms a perfect win-win situation for both you and the product owner because the product owners get to promote their products through you, and you earn a commission through this.
Affiliate marketing can be implemented on your blog by placing affiliate links in your blog posts. When visitors click on the affiliate link and purchase the products, you earn a commission.
For making the best out of affiliate marketing, you need to ensure that the products you promote are relevant to your audience, and you truly believe in the product. If you promote simply any random product just for the sake of it, you may end up losing the hard-earned trust of your audience. You might not be able to monetize your blog well.
Based on this criteria, you can choose and sign up for affiliate programs that best suit your blog and audience. Most top e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay have affiliate programs. You can sign up and place their affiliate links in relevant blog posts.
You can also sign up for affiliate networks, which will help you find numerous affiliate products. You can use any of these to promote on your blog.
If you notice closely, you will find a link to a page called Affiliate Disclosure on most of the blog's footers and also within the blog content. This is an ethical way of disclosing to your blog visitors about the affiliate links that you have placed and about the fact that you earn commissions from them. Adding an affiliate disclosure to your blog is essential, and failing to do so may land you in legal trouble.
4. Explore advertisement opportunities
Advertisements are another great and popular way to make money from your blog. The money that you earn from placing ads on your blog can be relatively more passive.
But the downside of this is that you cannot make a significant income out of this approach unless you have a million visitors to your blog each month.
You can start with a Google AdSense account which uses a pay per click (PPC) model. This means that Google will pay you a small amount each time any visitor clicks on the ads that you place. The amount here is generally very small, and thus you can try direct ad networks instead.
You can sign up for ad networks as well, which usually have a restriction on the minimum number of website visitors per month. Once you sign up for these networks, you can place ads in your blog and earn money from it.
Placing your ads strategically is also a very important factor to consider. We all have visited those annoying sites that throw random, not-so-appealing ads on our faces, and we end up exiting the site out of irritation. Hence, try not to go overboard with your ads, or you might end up losing your blog visitors.
Google has its own set of best practices for the placement of ads on your site. You can try to place your ads above the fold and besides useful content. But, do not stuff your pages with ads. Remember that the primary focus should be on the main content.
Too many ads can also slow down your site and affect your website’s EAT (Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness) ranking factor. You can research other top blogs and see how they place their ads.
5. Develop brand partnerships
Collaborating with brands and promoting their products or services can help you generate a significant amount of money from your blog. If you are getting a considerable amount of visitors each month, then this is an approach that you can try out.
You can develop brand partnerships either by reaching out to brands that you want to work with, or some brands may approach you based on your following. You can find the right partners for you by analyzing the top competitors’ blogs in your industry. You can reach out to the same or similar brands.
Before you partner with a brand, ensure that you and your audience's values match with the brand’s messaging. Also, ensure that the brand is something that your audience will be interested in.
Once you partner with a brand, you can collaborate with them and create content. You can create sponsored blog posts, videos, social media posts, and product reviews for the brand.
By creating sponsored content for brands, you can encourage your audience to purchase the brand’s products using your discount codes or special links. This acts as a perfect win-win situation for everyone involved. The brand gets exposed to a new set of audiences, you gain money from the sponsorship, and your audience gets the benefits of the products at a discounted rate.
Ultimately, such brand sponsorships can turn to be fruitful for your blog’s growth. Such brands may even appoint you as their brand ambassador, and this way you can scale your blog’s growth and increase your earnings exponentially.
6. Seek out public speaking engagements
Once you have established your authority in the niche and created a personal brand for yourself, you can generate more income through speaking engagements.
Initially, you can opt for free speaking engagements. This will increase your visibility and attract more traffic to your blog. These will be great for the growth of your blog. You can grab speaking engagements by reaching out to conference and event organizers who are hosting events that are relevant to your industry.
Over time, you'll find many people approaching you with paid speaking opportunities. You can even earn as high as $10,000 per gig. So the earning potential is fairly high.
Research and prepare well in advance. Ensure that your speech is accurate, fact-driven, and thought-provoking. When you are well-prepared, you’ll automatically feel more confident and your audience will be able to catch your confident vibe.
Work on your body language as this plays a very important role in winning your audience's attention and applause.
Add your own thoughts and creativity to the speech. The audience should get to know the real you and learn from your experience.
Add humor to your speech, ask questions, and try to enjoy yourself. When you have fun, your audience will be well-engaged, and this will boost your confidence even more.
How much money can a blogger usually make?
Now, coming to the most widely asked question: how much money can you really make as a blogger. The answer is, as many things are: it depends.
Many bloggers earn absolutely nothing from their blogs while some earn as high as six figures each month. Only 14% of bloggers are known to earn a full year's salary through blogging.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a blogger in the U.S. is $33,147 in a year. However, as you might have guessed after going through the blog monetization ideas in this guide, you would know that the earning potential of a blogger is almost limitless.
In fact, Grant Sabatier from Millennial Money says that he makes a whopping $400,000 per month through his blog. Similarly, Alex and Lauren from Create and Go claim that they make over $100,000 each month through their blogs.
So the sky's the limit when it comes to monetizing your blog. If you do proper market research, pick the right niche, put out consistent content, and implement good monetization strategies, you too can earn seven figures per year through your blog.
It's important to remember that blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme as it has been portrayed by many on the internet. Creating and monetizing a blog needs consistent efforts and patience. It might take a year or two to get to the $10,000 per year mark. Post that, your growth will be exponential.
You should also keep in mind that your earnings will depend on the number of hours and the amount of effort you put into your blog. Creating content and implementing marketing strategies takes time, but when done right, it’s clearly worth it.
Blogging is one of the most popular ways to earn money online while sitting at home and working on your blog as a side hustle.
If you're willing to put in the effort to create consistent blog posts, promote your blog, and implement monetization strategies, then you can earn as high as seven figures per year in as less as a couple of years.
You can use strategies such as selling courses, offering premium content, affiliate marketing, advertising, brand partnerships, and speaking engagements to make money from your blog.
Start implementing and experimenting with these monetization strategies. Ensure that you follow the tips provided in this brief guide. With diligent efforts and a strategic monetization approach, you're on your way to becoming a seven-figure blogger soon.
Harsh Agrawal is the pioneering blogger behind ShoutMeLoud, an award-winning blog with over 832K subscribers and 1 million pageviews/month. He is also a regular conference speaker and has spoken at events like WordCamp, IBM Business Connect, and Affiliate Summit West.