How to monetize a blog: How to make money blogging?
There are loads of ways to make money online – especially via your blog.
More than how to start blogging, bloggers are interested in how to make money blogging.
And that is not to blame because they see the big bloggers do it – and wonder how much do bloggers make on average.
The curiosity builds up – how do blogs generate income? Can you make money writing a blog?
But there is a small line between making money from your blog and using your blog as a tool to market your business, that in turn makes you money.
Nowadays, both these are mixed up and the line has gone.
Some bloggers are clear with their goals though. I am not going to go deep into this discussion right now.
But for clarity I am going to categorise two major ways in which you can make money blogging – active and passive.
What is an active income stream?
This income stream requires you to perform the work before you get paid. And this is usually done before each time you get paid.
Examples include any kind of service that you offer 1–1 to your clients so they pay you to avail that service.
To be precise – the examples include, services like audits, consultations, trainings etc.
This kind of income stream usually requires you to keep working if you want to get paid.
If you stop providing those services for a few weeks, you will find a set back in your business income.
What is a passive income stream?
A passive income stream is something that doesn’t require you to work every time before you get paid. Mostly, you do the work once and you get paid multiple times.
Examples include selling products where you write an e-book or develop a product (software or a course) one time, launch it and every time someone buys it you get paid.
This also includes membership sites. And yes, of course, ads!
But I must emphasise here that it certainly doesn’t mean that you simply launch a product or launch a website, forget about it and get paid always.
You must keep working to keep your product updated, and the membership site updated – you should keep adding new content, work on support and on so.
But still, it is not that you need to do the work every time before you get paid. It is mostly hands-free.
You can take vacation and still the sales will keep rolling.
And if you manage to launch your products in third party platforms like Amazon, you don’t have to worry about technical support, payment processors or anything like that – the income will still be rolling without you having to worry about – and be enjoying your vacation by the beach!
So which one of these income streams do you have to choose?
Both. Yes, both.
You will have to have a mix of both these income streams since both have their own pros and cons.
And you will have to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket – you certainly need to have multiple income streams for your business, just in case.
This way, if any of your income streams get hit or if anything goes wrong you will still be having other income streams working for you!
I will now list out the active and passive income streams that you can consider for your blog!
Make money blogging: Active income streams
So let’s discuss some of the possibilities of active income streams for your blog.
Selling your own services
Of course this comes really first. This is looked upon as a difficult task by many bloggers.
But this is actually one of the easiest ways to earn money.
I understand that this is an active income stream and wants you to provide the service each time before you can earn your money.
But selling your service is nothing but selling your expertise – nothing can be much easier than that!
Consulting is yet another active income stream where you can sell your expertise and time. With consulting you can just help people out and get paid for it.
You can instantly make a difference by helping your readers out.
It is also easy for you to build rapport in a much more deeper way if you offer consultation – since you deal with your readers more on a one to one manner.
But just make sure you only take up as much consultations as you can handle (to avoid stress and burn out).
Got some exclusive content? Can you consistently produce such content?
If so, great! You can create a membership site out of it.
This is indeed an active income stream because you have people paying you on a consistent basis (say, every month) – so you need to keep the membership content updated by adding more content on a regular basis.
You might have to take consultation calls that are members-only. You might have to interact with your members on a closed group-like arrangement.
You might have to take support requests and might have to offer on-going support.
But all these are worth it because your members will be paying you consistently.
This is a great way to make money if you are into changing passions quite often.
If you are not someone who wants to stick to one topic all the time, this is a great option for you to not get bored as well.
Build a great website with great content, make it rank well and then once it picks up with earnings potential (ads, Adsense, etc.) you can simply sell it by listing on sites like Flippa.
Of course this is not easy-peasy work – I would like to emphasise on that fact.
You have to start from scratch on a site every time, put on content, invest in hosting, design and stuff like that, and make the site rank well in search engines before you can flip it!
But many bloggers have been successful with this kind of income stream. When you start out, you could find this daunting. But over the time, you might find it very easy to flip sites.
Writing sponsored product reviews
Affiliate marketing is one of the main easy income streams in any online business. It is easy not because it is like you can cast an affiliate link anywhere you like and get paid!
You still need to do your ground work – research on the product, try it out and feel comfortable with it before making a recommendation.
But I say it is easy because you can start selling a product and make money without you having to create the actual product yourself.
And writing sponsored product reviews is one such income stream. You get paid to promote a product – either in the form of money or by being given a copy of the product itself for free.
But you have to be very sure about your recommendations. It is all about the trust and not about the money!
Make money blogging: Passive income streams
Welcome to passive income streams – where you earn almost hands free. Do the work once and get paid every time is the concept.
Just as I mentioned above, affiliate marketing is a great passive income stream! You don’t have to create a product in the first place in order to make money.
You just have to promote someone else’s product!
Sounds easy right? Yes, right! But….
You have to be very careful in what products you promote. You cannot promote any product just like that.
A product with juicy commission will sound tempting – but you have to always remember that it is not about the money or the one time commission you earn.
It is about the long term trust you build.
Recommend one crappy product and you lose your readers’ trust for life!
Of course – who doesn’t like to earn money via advertising? When I say “advertising” it involves a lots of types of advertising.
There are direct advertisements where either you approach the clients or they approach you so they can pay you to display a banner on your site.
You charge them on a monthly basis.
And there are third party ads like Adsense, where you paste a piece of code and the third party sites display contextual ads – since the ads are contextual, you can expect to have conversions (clicks).
You are either paid on the basis of clicks (CPC – cost per click) or impressions (CPM – cost per mile).
There are also certain kind of advertisements where you endorse a product/business from within your content for a price.
Bloggers with huge email lists can get paid to send out promotional emails – where you promote other’s product in your email – either in full, or as a banner or a PS in your regular email.
The possibilities are endless. You just have to make sure your recommendations are right, are in alignment with your topics and that they are genuine.
Publishing your own products
Publishing your own products is a great way to earn money (almost hands free); it also helps you to establish your expertise in your niche.
Products like a Kindle e-book helps you to earn money mostly hands free. You write the book (I know this is a challenging bit).
But once that is done and once you have launched the e-book with a bang, everything else follows and you don’t have to do much work after that.
Using a third party platform like Amazon Kindle also helps you to stay away from handling payment processing and other technical support involved with the product.
Similarly you can launch your own online courses on third party sites like Udemy for the same range of benefits.
There is also a downside to this approach – you will lose a lot of money in commission to these sites. But it is a matter of preference.
Make money blogging
Of course, these are not the only ways to make money blogging. There are hundreds of ways. But I don’t want to overwhelm you with a huge list.
And I don’t want to simply add items to a list that will earn you pennies.
Also, a solid income steam should contain a mix of both active and passive strategies so you can develop and maintain a steady income profile for your business.
So now you know how to make money blogging, right?