The first question I always get when someone finds out I’m a blogger is, “How do bloggers make money?” So I decided I’m going to write an article on it, so I can just send them the link and they can really know how bloggers generate an income! So yes, this article is for you, but it is also for me. Win-Win!
*This post may contain affiliate links. You can learn more on our disclosure page.*
This is usually the first way bloggers choose to monetize, but the payout isn’t great until you’re getting a good amount of page views. The first company people often choose for ad networking is Google Adsense. I got approved right away, and after almost a year, I haven’t even made $100 through them. It’s very low pay. But, once you get your page views up you can apply for other ad companies that have a much better payout.
Mediavine is one ad company that you will notice is highly recommended by a lot of bloggers! Their requirements are 25,000 sessions per month. Now, sessions are different from page views! I’ll give you an example… If I go onto someones homepage, and click on a link to read another article, and click to read one more article, that’s three page views. One for the homepage, one for the first article, and one for the second article. BUT that was only one session, because I was one on their sight one time. So the requirement for Mediavine is 25,000 session, this usually ends up being around 30,000 page views, but that can vary depending on how many visitors you have that stay and bounce around your blog. The difference between Adsense is Mediavine is huge! It’s like a few dollars a month, to a few hundred dollars a month! Definitely worth the switch.
AdThrive is another popular ad network, but their standards a little higher. Their requirements are 100,000 page views per month, so this is more of a long term goal for most bloggers! But once you get to this step and you’re utilizing AdThrive, you’re usually making a few thousand just off of ads!
There is an alternative to ad networks that a lot of bloggers prefer, and that is to sell advertising space directly, rather than an ad company. This allows you the freedom to choose how, and where you want to display ads, and how much you want to get paid for it. More work for you, but more benefits as well.
Affiliate marketing is an arrangement in which an online company pays you in exchange for traffic or sales generated through your website. So if you refer a product to someone, and they go through your link to buy it, the company will give you a commission for getting them more business, if your an affiliate for them.
One of the most common affiliate programs that bloggers use is Amazon. Amazon is a great company to partner with because it is so well-known, and used so often. The best part about Amazon, and a lot of other companies is that you have a window of time for your readers to purchase something. For Amazon, that window is 24 hours. So if someone orders anything off of Amazon (not just the product I recommended,) through my link within 24 hours, I get a commission on that sale. The only downside with Amazon is that their payout is pretty low. It’s different for different types of products, but I believe the average is 6-7%.
There are so many different companies that have an affiliate program. You can go onto any website and look around for “affiliate” or “work with us” etc. Every company has different rules and payouts. So go explore! See what companies you could partner with that could fit your niche well!
Good places to advertise your affiliate links are in your posts of course, but also on a resources page. You will notice I have a page called recommendations, that is my resources page. That’s where I list everything I’ve tried and loved, including my affiliates.
One thing to remember about affiliates is that you never want to advertise something you haven’t tried, or at least done thorough research on. You wouldn’t recommend a crappy product to your friends and family, so don’t do it to your readers.
Also, don’t forget to disclose at the top of your post that there is affiliate links in your post! You can get in big trouble for not doing this.
A sponsored post is an article you write that advertises a certain company and/or their product or service, in which the company pays you in return. Similar to affiliate, but the reader doesn’t have to buy, or click a link. You’re being paid solely for writing the post. The payout for these is usually pretty good. But you MUST disclose to your readers that it is indeed a sponsored post!
Selling your own Products-
You will notice that the bloggers who make the big bucks all sell their own products. This doesn’t necessarily mean physical products, in fact, most bloggers sell digital products such as E-courses, E-books, Printables, Checklists, anything you can think of! You can, of course, sell physical products, but they are known not to perform as well.
Most bloggers work their way up to a product. Most start out with a free resource, in exchange for their subscription. This is called an opt-in. You can do a million things for this as well. My highest performing opt-in is a printable meal planning sheet and grocery list that I created on Canva. Super simple, I made it about 5 months ago and it’s gotten me over a hundred subscribers. I created a pin for it on Pinterest that leads to a landing page.
Practice makes perfect, so practice making some awesome opt-ins, and work your way up to a product that you can sell. This could be as simple as a three-page E-book that you sell for $2.99, or a huge E-course that you sell for $100. The most expensive course I’ve purchased was $200. And as painful as that was, it was so worth the money. Every. Penny. If you create something super valuable, people will pay you what it’s worth.
While there are other ways that you can make money alongside blogging such as being a virtual assistant, or freelance writing, those are the four ways you can make money solely from your blog. If I have one thing to say to you as a newbie blogger, it’s don’t be discouraged! I didn’t make over $100 for almost a year after I started blogging. You will see those people who make $1,000 their first month but that’s NOT realistic. Unless you’re spending 10 hours a day on your blog, it should take you a while to start really making money.
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