How to Monetize a Blog (Proven Ways with Examples)

Aliko Sunawang

Aliko Sunawang

A blogger and photography hobbyist.

Soon after your blog has enough traffic, you may start to think how to generate money from it. In the blogging world, there are a wide range of ways to generate money from a blog. In this article, you will learn the best ways to monetize a blog. From selling affiliate products to offering members-only content.

Displaying ads from Google AdSense seems is the most popular monetization method applied by many bloggers. While it is easy to be implemented, you need to have a large number of daily visitors to earn money on a regular basis (monthly). An English blog typically needs to have at least 2,000 daily visitors in order to earn monthly pay from Google.

Not to scare you, but if you are just about to get started, you need to know in advance that generating your first 2,000 daily visitors is extremely hard. It’s the most crucial step you need get through. Once you made it, you can start to think of other things related to the development of your blog.

When You Can Start Monetizing Your Blog?

One thing. Blogging is no different to other business types. It takes persistence and consistency to be successful with your blog. We started our first blog in 2016 and it took us almost 4 years until the blog managed to generate enough money on a regular basis so that we thought it’s time to start a new blog, which we did in late 2019.

We didn’t want to say that you should wait that long to start monetizing your blog. It all depends on the metrics of your blog. If it already has enough traffic, you can monetize your blog as soon as possible.

Please underline the word “enough traffic”.

When it comes to blogging, more visitors don’t guarantee you will earn more money. It depends on your monetization model. 100 targeted visitors may earn you more money than 1,000 non-targeted visitors. Before monetizing your blog, it would be much better to create some KPIs and then make the decision based on them.

8 Best Ways to Monetize a Blog

1. Sell Affiliate Products

Thinking of selling products via your blog but have no idea how create the products? Affiliate marketing is the solution.

Affiliate marketing allows you to sell the products from a third-party. The products you sell are called affiliate products. You will earn commission for every affiliate product you managed to sell. You can sell your affiliate products by writing reviews, creating listicles, or even by creating a dedicated shop page on your blog.

You can sell either digital products or physical products, depending on your blog’s theme. Or you can also sell both product types if you want it.

If you have very targeted audience, affiliate marketing is great option to monetize your blog.

How to Find Affiliate Products to Sell

First, you need to decide whether you want to sell physical products or digital products. If you want to sell physical products, Amazon is the option to find the products. In case you didn’t know. Amazon offers an affiliate program. You can simply join the program and sell any product you want. The commission rates offered by Amazon are varied, depending on the products.

What if you want to sell digital products?

Digital products are divided into some categories. Software, e-books, images, videos, and audios are all digital products. So first, define which type of digital products you want to sell on your blog.

In Amazon, you can also sell digital products in the forms of e-books. Envato Market is a great alternative to sell digital products. You can sell digital products like photos, videos, audios, templates, and so on.

If your blog covers technology, you can join the affiliate programs of your favorite software or services. There are many software companies (especially in the SaaS field) that offer affiliate program. The advantage of joining the affiliate program of a software company is that it usually offers high commission rate. Elementor, for instance. It offers a 50 percent affiliate commission. With the highest plan offered by Elementor is $999, you can earn up to $499.5 for a single sale.

Successful Blog Example That Adopts Affiliate Marketing

WP Pagebuilders, our very own network, is an example of blog that adopts affiliate marketing. It doesn’t sell its own products (or not yet). WP Pagebuilders is a blog about WordPress. Specifically, it covers page builder plugins — Elementor and Divi Builder in particular.

Both Elementor and Divi Builder (and also most WordPress page builder plugins) offer an affiliate program that allows WP Pagebuilders generate money by selling the pro version of them.

Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing

Pros:

  • Doesn’t require a large amount of traffic
  • Don’t need to deal with inventory
  • Easy to start

Cons:

  • Dependence on third-party

2. Offer Members-Only Content

Big websites like TechCrunch and Fast Company offer premium content to their readers. You can also adopt the business model to monetize your blog. If your blog is based on WordPress, you can use a membership plugin like MemberPress to add a membership functionality on your blog. If you are looking for an all-in-one solution, you can try Ghost.

Monetizing your blog by offering members-only content is a bit challenging as you need to make sure that your content is worthy enough to be paid. No one will subscribe to your blog if they find no value on your content.

If you are a specialist in a certain area, adopting this monetization model is a great fit as you don’t need rely on third-party like, say, affiliate marketing. You have a full control over your business. Most importantly, this monetization model offers more sustainable income. You will earn money on a regular basis as long as your readers keep subscribing.

Adopting this monetization model also open an opportunity to get more loyal readers, which you can make use of if you want to start a new blog or other website types.

Successful Blog Example That Offers Members-Only Content

Food Blogger Pro is one of the examples of a blog that offers members-only content. The blog is built with Ghost.

Looking for a WordPress-based example?

You can take a look at Pilatesology. The blog is built with WordPress and uses MemperPress for the membership functionality.

Pros and Cons of Offering Members-Only Content

Pros:

  • More sustainable revenue
  • You don’t need to depend on third-party
  • Have loyal readers

Cons:

  • Harder to implement

3. Sell E-books

Blogging means writing. If you have a strong writing passion, selling e-books is a great idea to monetize your blog. If you are a professional writer with some published books (hardcover), selling them on your blog would be a great idea as well. You can create a dedicated page to showcase your books.

You can create e-books around the topic of your blog.

For instance, if you have a photography blog, you can write e-books with specific topics like Lightroom, landscape photography, lighting, and other specific topics that you master. The e-books don’t have to be too long. A 50-page e-book (or even fewer) is fine as long as the topic is clear.

Same as offering members-only content, selling e-books allows to be more independent as you don’t need to rely on third-party to monetize your blog. Plus, you can start to monetize your blog regardless of the number of traffic you have.

Unless you sell your e-books on a marketplace, the downside of selling e-books is that you need to have basic e-commerce knowledge, especially ordering and payment handling.

How to Sell Your E-books

If you have a WordPress-based blog, you can use a plugin like Easy Digital Download to sell your e-books. You can accept a wide range of payments. From PayPal to credit card.

If you don’t want to be hassle, you can use a marketplace to sell your e-books, while your blog is used to promote your e-books.

Successful Blog Example That Sells E-books

Digital Photography School has been around since 2005. Founded by a senior blogger Darren Rowse, Digital Photography School is a great blog to learn photography. The blog itself adopts several monetization models, one of which is by selling e-books. If you are looking to monetize your blog by selling e-books, Digital Photography School is a great reference.

Pros and Cons of Selling E-books

Pros:

  • Allows you to be a more independent blogger
  • Doesn’t require a large amount of traffic to get started
  • Doesn’t need to deal with inventory

Cons:

  • Writing e-books require extra effort
  • Not suitable for the main revenue source for a blog

4. Accept Sponsored Content

Although many blogs rely on AdSense to generate money, it might not the source they get the money most. Instead, they might get more money by accepting sponsored content. Sponsored content itself can be paid review or paid guest post.

If you have a tech blog, the chance of generating more money by accepting paid review tends to higher as there are thousands (or millions) of software companies that can be your clients. If you want to adopt this monetization model, make sure to add a contact page on your blog to make it easier for aspiring clients to reach you out.

Don’t hesitate to send partnership proposals to potential clients. If needed, you can even use a CRM software to make it easier for you to manage communication with your clients.

There are many online marketing agencies that seek for blogs to place their content so the chance of relying on this monetization is big enough. Agencies usually see metrics like domain authority and page authority before picking a blog to make a cooperation with.

How to Get Clients for Sponsored Content

First off, make sure that you have a contact page on your blog. Without this page, how can your client reach you out?

If you can’t wait to get your first client (or want to get more), you can send proposals via email. Before doing this, you can create a database of the email addresses of your potential clients. It’s okay to start with a cold email to have conversation with your clients.

If you want to make a direct selling instead of starting with a cold email, make sure to include the necessary metrics of your blog to raise the interest of your clients. One more thing. Don’t hesitate to include your rate as well.

One tip. Use an email address with a custom domain (e.g., yourname@yourblog.com) when sending emails to clients to make them think you are a professional blogger so they will be more convinced.

Successful Blog Example That Accepts Sponsored Content

Better Tech Tips, another network of ours, is a great example of blog that adopts the monetization model by accepting paid content. It accepts both paid reviews and paid guest posts. Better Tech Tips is a random tech blog that covers things like tutorials, product recommendations, and so on.

Pros and Cons of Accepting Sponsored Content

Cons:

  • Adoptable on any blog type
  • You can set the rate yourself
  • Doesn’t require a large amount of visitors

Cons:

  • Not a good choice for one-year-old blog or younger

5. Offer Your Services

Freelancing has been a lot easier these days thanks to marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer.com whereby you can market your services. In addition to these platforms, you can also create a blog to market your services.

The idea is to attract more clients from search engines.

The more articles you have on your blog, the bigger the chance they will be found on search engines. If your articles give value to your readers, there is a big chance they will end up being your clients.

You can write articles with the topic around your specialty (more specific topic is better). For instance, if you offer a service around WordPress, you can offer a more specific area like design, security, optimization, etc.

Writing blog post can help convince your clients that you are really an expert in your area.

Successful Blog Example That Offers Service

Andriy Haydash is an example of a freelancer who market his service via blog. He is a WordPress developer with the specialty on membership and e-learning website. He updates his blog on a regular basis.

As said above, the more articles you have on your site, the bigger the chance your website will be found by aspiring clients. The advantage of marketing your service via a blog is that you can add another revenue source. By selling affiliate products, for instance. Just like Andriy Haydash does.

Pros and Cons of Offering Service via Blog

Pros:

  • No need to share your service fee with a third-party (e.g., marketplace)
  • You can add another revenue source
  • Doesn’t require a large amount of traffic

Cons:

  • It takes extra effort to build trust, especially if you haven’t had enough clients

6. Offer Marketing Bundles

As a blogger, you should put more focus on increasing the number of email subscribers rather than social media followers. Not only you can use them to increase your blog traffic, but you can also use the statistic of email subscribers as a marketing tool.

Say your blog already has 10,000 email subscribers and the traffic is around 5,000 per day (150,000 per month). With these metrics, you can offer a marketing bundle to brands to promote their products. For example, you can include their product on your newsletters for a certain period (e.g., one month), while also offering an ad spot on a certain area of your website (footer, blog posts, sidebar, etc.).

If your website has reasonable metrics, brands will be happy to order your marketing bundles. You can create a dedicated page on your blog to display your marketing bundles. Or, you can reach out to potential brands via email to market your service.

Successful Blog Example That Offers Marketing Bundles

WPLift and WP Mayor are two examples of blogs that offer marketing bundles. As you can guess, they are blogs that cover topics around WordPress. WordPress is the most popular website builder that powers over 40 percent of the websites on the internet. By specifically providing WordPress-related content, they can market their marketing bundles more easily as they already have more specific market targets.

Pros and Cons of Offering Marketing Bundle

Pros:

  • Can be combined with other monetization models
  • You don’t need to share your advertising fee with a third-party

Cons:

  • Requires decent metrics to implement

7. Accept Donations

Accepting donations is also a great idea to monetize your blog. This method is especially great to build strong connection between you, the blogger, with your audience. However, the challenge is bigger as you need to create valuable content consistently.

The advantage of monetizing a blog by accepting donation is that you don’t need to think about any metric. Your readers will tip you based on the quality of your content. Also, you don’t need to think about any marketing or content strategy. You just need to focus on your content.

You can use tools like Ko-Fi and Buy Me a Coffee to accept donation on your website. Or, if your blog is built with WordPress, there are a number of donation plugins you can make use of.

Successful Blog Example That Accepts Donation

Tecmint is a nice blog to learn Linux and open source in general. The blog adopts multiple monetization models at once, including donation. It can be your reference if you plan to accept donation on your blog.

Pros and Cons of Accepting Donations

Pros:

  • Doesn’t require any metric
  • Doesn’t require any marketing strategy

Cons:

  • Cannot be set as the main revenue source

8. Install PPC Ads

PPC stands for Pay Per Click. Google AdSense is the example of an advertising company that offers PPC ads. Installing PPC ads — Google AdSense in particular — is the most popular monetization model widely adopted by bloggers as it easier than other methods above. You don’t need to look for advertisers yourself. You just need to install the code on your website and Google AdSense will do the rest.

While this monetization method is extremely easy to implement, your blog needs to have decent metrics in order to earn money on a monthly basis.

As mentioned in the opening section, an English blog typically needs to have at least 2,000 daily visitors to earn money on a regular basis. Getting 2,000 daily visitors is not an easy job, especially if your blog’s topic is too general as the competition is very tight.

If you want to focus on this monetization model, you need to have a strong blog foundation. Particularly, you need to make sure that your server is capable of handling a large amount of traffic. If you have a WordPress-based blog, using a managed WordPress hosting is strongly recommended.

Successful Blog Example That Installs PPC

How-To Geek and Make Tech Easier are two examples of blog that rely on PPC as their main revenue source. The two are popular tech blogs that cover things like tutorials, software reviews, listicles, and so on.

Pros and Cons of PPC

Pros:

  • Easy to Implement
  • No need to look for advertisers yourself

Cons:

  • Requires decent metrics to be successful

The Verdict — Which Monetization Model You Should Adopt?

Blogging is still promising. You can turn your blog into your main revenue source in order to get a time freedom.

When a blogger tells you he/she can earn thousands of dollars per month from his/her blog and it encourages you to start your blog immediately, you should know in advance that being successful with your blog cannot be achieved overnight. Just like other business types, it takes consistency and patience to be successful with your blog.

A question commonly asked by those wanting to start a blog is how they can generate money from a blog.

First, you need to understand that a blog is a type of publishing media. If your media has a large amount of traffic, it’s up to you how to generate money from it. Whether by displaying banner ads, accepting sponsored content, and so on. The fact is that many successful bloggers adopt multiple monetization models on their blog.

The most important thing before you start to monetize your blog is to understand your audience first.

Ideally, before creating a blog, you set the targets of your blog by conducting research. If your blog has a targeted audience, it will be much easier to monetize it.

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