Let’s touch on everyone’s favorite topic — how to monetize your blog.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…
Can blogs actually make money?
Is this just something people have made up to sell books and courses?
These are all valid questions. To be honest, I had all of these questions too when I was first starting out.
I’m happy to tell you that making an income from your blog is possible.
In fact, we’ll actually cover some of the specific tactics that allowed me to earn money from my blogs.
Section #1 — Can you actually make money from your blog?
Making money from your blog is definitely possible, but it does take a fair bit of upfront work.
For example, throughout this article, I’m gonna cover a few of the websites that generate income for me.
These websites can only generate a decent income because they’re actively attracting a good chunk of visitors.
If these websites weren’t doing a good job in terms of attracting traffic, they probably wouldn’t make any money
— in fact, they definitely wouldn’t make any money!
I mean, for a website to make money, someone usually has to visit it, and do something.
If you want to generate an income from your blog, it needs to be attracting a decent number of visitors.
It could also depend on the approach you’re taking to monetization.
As we’re gonna mention later, some approaches such as affiliate marketing might make more money than ads.
Either way, I just wanna make it clear that — yes, earning an income from your blog is definitely possible.
But, first, you need to focus on building a solid website that attracts a good number of visitors.
Only then, will you have a solid foundation that allows you to earn an income that you can rely on.
Option #1 — Ads
Right, so with all that said, the first income strategy I wanna focus on here is ads.
Ads can actually be a very good way to earn a passive income from your site.
One of the main reasons for this is because it’s really easy to make money with this method.
You need to choose an ad network, set up the ads on your site, and then kinda just leave things at that.
A percentage of your visitors will click on these ads. At the end of every month, your chosen ad network will send you money based on how many people clicked on your ads.
Pretty simple, right?
I have two websites — chipperbirds.com and relaxlikeaboss.com that earn a decent income from this method.
If you check out this graphic, you can see a summary of the ad revenue I’ve achieved with these sites.
(By the way, just in case you’re wondering, this is with the ad network “Mediavine.”)
Alright, so let’s just cover some of the things you need to understand about this monetization method.
Firstly, the amount of money you can make with this method kinda depends on the niche you’re in.
This is because “clicks” in some niches are generally worth more than “clicks” in other niches.
For example, the finance space is often more lucrative than something like the “knitting” market.
Secondly, the amount of money you will earn with this approach is also really sensitive to the amount of traffic you can generate.
This is a key point because single clicks generally don’t produce a ton of money.
I mean, most ad clicks generate money in the form of “cents” and not “dollars”
So, if you wanna earn a decent income, you need to know how to build a high-traffic site.
If you can’t figure this out, you’re not gonna make a decent income with this method, unfortunately.
If you want to succeed with the methods we’re covering, you need to know how to rank your site which is something I’m gonna cover in future articles.
Option #2 — Affiliate Income
Okay, so another way you can earn money with a blog is by focusing on affiliate income.
So, how does affiliate marketing work?
Well, with this approach, you generally promote or even just mention a product/service and link to it.
Then, if someone clicks on your link, and spends money on the thing you mentioned/promoted — you earn a commission.
What I’m trying to say is that affiliate income is something that a lot of people prefer, over ad income.
One of the main reasons is that affiliate revenue is often a lot higher when compared to the “per click” revenue of ads.
So, suppose you have two websites that are in the same niche and attracting the same level of traffic.
One is monetizing with ads, while the other is using affiliate methods.
A lot of the time, a website that relies on affiliate methods will tend to make more money.
Well, generally if someone buys an affiliate product, you often make more money than if someone clicks on your ads.
With affiliate websites, there is less pressure on you to ramp up your traffic numbers, so that you can earn an income
— And this kinda makes earning a decent income from your blog, generally just a bit easier on the whole.
Some people get around this problem by using both ads and affiliate links on their site and this is actually something I do on chipperbirds.com.
It works well, and you just need to make sure it’s not over the top, or else you’re gonna provide people with a bad user experience!
So, with that said, how do you earn an affiliate income from your website?
Well, if you want to make affiliate income from your site first, you need to decide what kind of affiliate program you’re gonna focus on.
For example, you can go with something like Amazon Associates or you could go to a platform like Awin.
An affiliate platform will tell you beforehand how much commission you will make if you manage to sell a certain product.
So, here’s an example from one of the affiliate options on Awin.
In this example, the person making an affiliate sale would earn a 6% commission.
On top of that, here’s the fee structure that Amazon uses for its associates program:
Now, I just wanna say that none of this is set in stone.
These platforms can change their fee structure at any time, so don’t assume that these figures are guaranteed!
Once you’ve picked an affiliate network, figure out how you’re actually gonna get people to click on your affiliate links.
If you want similar to Amazon Associates, one of the ways you can get people to click on your links is by creating “review blog posts.”
I’m sure you’ve seen these kinds of posts
They’re generally just posts that have “best” in the title.
So, if you have a fishing blog, you might have a blog post titled “best fishing gear for beginners.”
Then list out the best items in this niche and might include an affiliate link next to each of your recommendations.
You will now focus on ranking this blog post for the keyword “best fishing gear for beginners,” so that you can get a lot of relevant traffic to your post.
Of course, this is just one method…
…that applies to one kind of affiliate marketing network.
There are a lot of options here, and your ability to make money with affiliate marketing often comes down to your creativity and how good you are at driving traffic.
Lastly, some affiliate networks have rules on how you can promote offers, so always make sure you read these rules before you decide on a certain approach!
Option #3 — Redirecting Traffic to a Product/Service on a 3rd-Party Site
Another way to monetize your blog is by redirecting traffic to a 3rd party website where you offer some kind of services.
For example, if you’re a graphic design freelancer, you might redirect people to a profile you have on a freelancing platform.
You can use this approach to build up your presence on this platform, and this can help you earn more money in the future.
I actually do something like this, I do it by combining two websites kingpassive.com (a website I own) and Fiverr.com.
On kingpassive, I have lots of blog posts that cover general business/marketing topics.
On this site, there are some super easy-to-find buttons that people can click on.
If someone clicks on these buttons, they will then be taken to my Fiverr profile.
They can invest in one of my services/products that I promote on the platform.
I really like this method because it helps me build up my profile on Fiverr.
This then improves my overall visibility on the platform, and I can then make more money.
Plus, it’s also kinda a good backup, in case something happens to my website.
If the worst should happen and my website is wiped out, due to an algorithm update, I’ll still have my profile on Fiverr and I can use the income from that to potentially launch my next project.
Option #4 — Promoting Your Own Service/Product
The final option I wanna cover here is actually just promoting your own product or service.
Depending on how you do things, this can often be the most lucrative approach.
I mean if you’re relying on ads, you’re essentially just getting a small slice of someone else’s earnings.
If you’re just relying on affiliate income, you might make a bit more money, but you are still getting a share of someone else’s income.
So, if you use 3rd party platforms, you’re going to have to give up some of your earnings, as those platforms take a commission.
However….If you promote your own product/service, you can skip all of that.
You can keep all of the money you earn, and you can make a really good income, with even relatively small amounts of traffic.
On my SEO agency website, juliangoldie.com, I’ve been able to close clients that provide me with $5,000 of monthly recurring revenue.
It’s fair to say it’d be hard to earn that much money, with chipperbirds if the traffic numbers were the same.
The agency that I’ve just mentioned here actually specializes in helping people get more traffic with the help of SEO.
If you’d like advice on how you can get more SEO traffic to your site, you can book a free consultation call with my agency at juliangoldie.com.
Anyway…Of course, your ability to succeed with this approach is gonna depend on what you’re comfortable with doing.
If that’s the case, you may wanna consider starting a website that’s relevant to one of your skills.
And also if you’re looking to keep your workload to a minimum, you can always just create products/courses that are relevant to your site.
For example, with my chipperbirds site, I could create an eBook that’s based on birdwatching.
Alternatively, on my “relaxlikeaboss” website, I could release a course about mindfulness and meditation.
To be honest, there are many ways you could take this, and you can be as creative as you wanted to.
The main thing is that, whatever you’re selling, is actually something you own and have control over.
Everyone tends to have their own preferences, and so there’s probably not one form of monetization that everyone loves.
Once you’ve figured that out, then consider building your website, and SEO strategy, around the monetization approach you’ve chosen.
Now, I know you’re thinking — “there’s nothing more important than monetizing your blog” …
Trust me, you can only monetize a site that’s actually getting results with SEO.