How Do Blogs Make Money?
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7 Income Sources for Bloggers
Have you ever wondered how do blogs make money? 10 years ago, I saw a guy on the news named Jason Zook. He was a blogger who was earning a living by wearing companies’ t-shirts, advertising on his blog and social media.
I was intrigued. I always thought that blogging was for people who wanted to keep a diary online. I truly didn’t understand it.
Jason Zook – IWearYourShirt
Jason was earning nearly six figures in his online business, and I couldn’t fathom earning that much as a blogger. This was his business model.
His blog featured a calendar, and every day of the year coincided with a price on the calendar. If a company or brand wanted him to feature it on his website and social media, they paid for the day and mailed him a t-shirt.
January 1st was only $1, January 2nd was $2 and so forth until December 31st was $365. You’re probably wondering how on earth he earned nearly $85,000 his first year. I was mind-blown and knew that I wanted to start a blog of my own.
If you’re interested (or just curious), I’ve put together a 4-step tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog.
So How do Blogs Make Money?
1. Monetize with CPM/CPC Ads
This is the easiest way to monetize a blog from the start. Most bloggers start out with Google Adsense, and it’s as easy as signing up for an account and copy/pasting HTML code provided into your WordPress admin.
CPM Ads, or cost-per-mil (thousand) pay per thousand impressions. In simple terms, advertisers pay you for every thousand visitors that see their ad.
CPC Ads also called pay-per-click ads, are usually banners in your sidebar or header. You are paid anytime a visitor clicks the ad.
The cool thing about Google Adsense is that it’s easy to sign up and you don’t have to communicate directly with advertisers. Google does all of the heavy lifting. You simply place a code on your site and voila! You can start making money.
Note: You will not make much money from ads at first. Your #1 goal as a new blogger should be to increase traffic through SEO and social media until you reach 10,000 pageviews per month. Then you can apply to a much higher-paying ad network, Monumetric.
2. Sponsored Posts
This is currently my highest source of revenue. As you create amazing content and build an audience, you’ll have companies (or random people) reach out to you asking for links to their articles within your posts. I would stay far away from these offers (for the most part). These are not sponsored posts.
Sponsored posts are either written by you or the company proposing a collaboration. You must disclose that it is a sponsored post at the beginning of the article, and Google terms require links to be nofollow if when you’re receiving monetary compensation such as this. Here’s more on why Google penalties for failing to nofollow sponsored post links.
3. Sell Ad Space on your Blog
If you are creating amazing content for a very specific audience, chances are companies will pay you to advertise on your blog. This is especially true if you’re getting plenty of pageviews every month and/or social shares.
I haven’t tackled this on my blog as of yet, but I know a blogger who was just paid $1500 for six months upfront for a single banner ad. As your traffic and social media followers increases, you can charge a premium for these ads. It’s prime real estate!
4. How Do Blogs Make Money Through Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways blogs make money. I make money every single day from affiliate marketing. Here’s how it works:
You sign up as an affiliate with a company. I’ll use Amazon Associates for example because they are the easiest affiliate company to get started, and they offer tons of products. As an Amazon affiliate, I write articles and share links to books, badass blog planners, and items that will make your blogging journey easier.
When readers click your affiliate link, you can earn a commission. Sometimes they don’t even have to buy what they clicked on. I once earned an affiliate income of $25 when someone purchased a mattress on Amazon. I don’t blog about mattresses, home decor, or furniture! It’s really pretty cool!
I’ve learned everything I know about affiliate marketing from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
The creator, Michelle, has consistently earned over $100,000 per month on her blog. That’s not a typo. You can check out the course here.
5. Sell Digital Products
Another great way to make money blogging is to create your own digital products to sell. Some examples include:
- digital downloads
- apps, plugins, themes
- mastermind memberships
6. Become a Freelancer
- Ghost Writing
- Video Editing
- Graphic Design
- Social Media Manager
- IT or WordPress/Blogger Support
The opportunities are endless! If you have a blog, you have a portfolio and can advertise your services and recruit new clients.
7. Blog Flipping
This is an interesting business idea. You can purchase blogs, build them up and sell them for a profit. Sometimes domain names are even profitable, especially if there’s a .com attached to it. The higher the domain authority and number of backlinks, the stronger the potential to flip. Alexis at FITnancials has made over $30,000 flipping blogs.
Next Steps – Start a Blog in 30 Minutes for Less than $20!
If you’re ready to take the next steps and learn how to start a WordPress blog of your own, check out this tutorial. You can get started in just 30 minutes for less than $20! And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for all sorts of blogging tips from SEO and gaining traffic to how to structure blog posts and where to share online once your blog goes LIVE!