Can you make money blogging?
That is one of the most common questions people asked whenever someone says that they’re a full-time blogger.
The truth is:
Lots of people have made millions of dollars blogging.
There are a lot of methods to make money online out there, but now I will tell you the most common ways to make money online as a blogger.
How Top Bloggers Make Money?
I will not you give any explanation first about how to make money from blogging because you guys probably demand some proofs first.
So here it is, I have the right infographic just for you:
Now you know how bloggers make money, it’s time to start learning…
Main Categories of Income Streams
There are five fundamental methods to make money blogging, and the rest is just the derivative or combination between these methods.
Amy Lynn Andrews explained these fundamental methods comprehensively in her post, How to Make Money Blogging.
However, in this post, I will only show you the basic explanation and a few real life examples.
But, before that, you may want to see this infographic to get the basic idea:
And now, we will break down some of the methods:
It’s the same as a traditional advertising, but instead of publishing it in magazines or billboards, advertisers pays you for publishing their ads on your blog.
#1. Display Ads
You can see at the screenshot above, that is a leaderboard-style display ad provided by an ad network.
Every time someone click on the ad, the publisher get a small amount of money.
Imagine if there are 100,000 visitors on a day, and 2% of them clicks the ad, that would be 2,000 people who click on the ad.
And imagine if the advertiser is willing enough to give $0.8 for every time that ad converts into a click, that would be $1,600/day from that particular ad alone.
For example, Pete Cashmore, the CEO and founder of Mashable, earns more than $200,000/month by using Google AdSense alone.
If you have trouble getting an AdSense account, read these tips on how to get approved by Google AdSense.
And get the most out of it, tweak your ad placement to increase CTR.
#2. Private Ads
Private ads are similar to display ads.
The difference is there is no middle-man between the advertiser and the publisher.
Partnerships are arranged directly between a blogger and an individual, small business or company.
Initial contact can be made by the blogger or by the advertiser.
The screenshot above is an example of a private ad in Harsh Agrawal’s blog Shout Me Loud.
Companies paid bloggers to get their products reviewed and promoted.
However, some companies only give away their products without paying, expecting the bloggers to write a review for free in exchange for the product itself.
Usually, the company will contact you first.
However, you can try to contact the company first if you think your blog fits their needs.
I can’t confirm whether Engadget gets paid for doing product reviews or not, however, it is possible for them to do so.
Advertising is probably the easiest way to make money online for beginners.
However, it doesn’t pay much compared to other methods.
As an affiliate marketer, you promote someone else’s product in your blog.
You link to that product using your unique affiliate link. And when someone click that link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.
It’s pretty simple, huh?
For example, you can take a look the sidebar of this blog:
That is an example of affiliate product being promoted by me.
Every time someone register through that banner, I get a commission.
Selling Digital Products
You sell digital products in your blog. No need for shipment.
It can be your own products, or it can be someone else’s product you’re selling.
If you sell your own product, be prepared to deal with customer complains 🙂
#1. E-courses/Webinars/Online Workshop/Mentoring
Simply some bloggers sell their knowledge to people by running an exclusive online face-to-face private session.
If you are an expert in something that people want to learn, then it’s your chance to teach them via the internet for a price.
Jonathan Milligan provides an exclusive mentoring program for people who wants to be a full-time blogger on his blog, Blogging Your Passion.
This is one of the most popular ways to make money for bloggers.
They create an ebook on a topic and sell it through their blogs.
Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness sells his ebook, the Level Up Your Life through his blog.
#3. Premium Membership
While some bloggers put an effort to create an ebook, others prefer to offer their readers a premium membership.
When almost all of information were shared freely on the internet, some exclusive and ‘insider-only’ information are very valuable, thus creating an opportunity for those who have it.
Some Genesis framework tutorials are not free, for example, Sridhar Katakam sells premium membership on his blog, SridharKatakam.com.
He is good at making Genesis tutorial that people will spend their money just to see what code need to be changed.
Creating and/or selling digital products is not as easy as putting ads in your blog.
It takes more effort and knowledge to gain profits from it.
However, if you’re doing it right, it is much more profitable compared to all methods.
Suppose you create the product yourself, and sell it yourself, you get 100% of the money for yourself.
You basically selling physical products, such as computers, books, toys, or supplements.
Today, many book publishers consider a blog as a measurement of whether the book you’re applying is going to sells or not.
Having a blog is a great way to test the market reaction to your book.
Also, you can sell the book yourself via your blog.
For example, Darren Rowse sells his book, ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income in his ProBlogger book blog.
This is similar to ecourse/webinar, only it takes place in the real world, face-to-face with the mentor.
Robert J. Crosby, also known as Bo, use his blog Bo’s Fitness Camps, to promote his Fitness Camp program.
#3. Homemade/Handmade Products
When you have the skill to craft something that people wants to buy, why not set up a blog (along with a store) and sell it yourself?
Robin, using her blog FITZY, sell handmade modern leather goods, and as you can see, they’re marvelous!
#4. Manufactured Products
This is where you sell manufactured products made by other companies.
You can set up a physical store and use a blog for promotion, or you can be an affiliate an sell the products using your affiliate link.
Thomas & Elise Xavier, a husband-and-wife survivalist team, sells survival kits as an Amazon affiliate, through their blog, More Than Just Surviving.
If you have a useful skill for other people, you can sell it through your blog.
Use your blog as a portfolio of your experience and expertise.
Many photographers and artists do this because it will show the potential clients how good you are.
Some of the most popular services that are promoted through blogs are:
There is a lot of photographers that uses blogs as their online portfolio.
This is a good strategy to show the world their capabilities snapping beautiful images.
Joe McNally, an American photographer who has been shooting for the National Geographic Society, made an online portfolio for his works at Joe McNally Photography.
#2. Web Design
A blog is an essential tool for self-promotion for web designers.
Their skill in web designing is not described by words, but by the design of their own site/blog!
After all, it’s a bit ironic if a web designer doesn’t have a website, yes?
For example, Mike Kus, a renowned web designer based in the UK, don’t need to describe his skill in web design, just take a look at his personal blog, MikeKus.com.
Most illustrator uses sites like DeviantArt to promote their artworks.
There is nothing wrong with using a community site like this.
However, you will look much more professional if you have your own blog, and I’m serious…
Take a look at Therese Larsson, a freelance illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden, with her blog Silly Beast Illustration.
Similar to web designer, a blog is an essential tool for freelance writers to show their capabilities to their potential clients.
And yes, it’s a bit ironic if a writer doesn’t have writings to be shown.
Kristi Hines, a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and copywriter, uses her blog KristiHines.com to show her potential clients what she is capable of.
Most models use management sites for their portfolio, and nothing wrong with that…
However, consider setting up a blog where you can publish your portfolio independently.
Michelle, a beautiful Dutch freelance model, published her portfolio on her blog, MichelleModel.nl, as seen in the screenshot above.
#6. Musical Band
It’s a great opportunity if you’re a member of a band specializing in particular events, such as wedding band, or party band.
You can upload some music examples or even videos of your band performing at certain events to create an astonishing portfolio.
Just take a look at what Magnolia Jazz Band did with their blog. They even provide testimonials from their clients!
Having a website/blog of your own is a must if you want to maximize your potential career.
It helps to increase your credibility by letting your potential clients or employers knows your capabilities.
An article in Forbes written by Jacquelyn Smith perfectly explains the importance of having a personal website/blog.
Tips For Beginner Who Wants To Make Money Using Blog
#1. Blog on something you’re good (or passionate) at
Who wants to read a healthy lifestyle guide written by someone who knows nothing about healthy lifestyle?
If you’re not good at something, but it’s your passion, chances are you’re going to be good at it.
Blogging on something we’re passionate at not only gives us the advantage from the knowledge we will share, but it will make the blogging process much easier because we will enjoy it.
Imagine you talking about car racing while you’re not interested at all in it.
You wouldn’t maintain your blog as hard as if you were talking about something you really like.
I have a passion about debunking hoaxes, and it turned out that my writings are one of the best on that topic.
I can’t stop writing blog posts, and I enjoyed it.
Some of the posts even reached out to 7000+ words long!
#2. Target at an easy but profitable niche
What happens if you blog about technology?
You, alone, technology.
You’ll get crushed by the big boys, no doubt. There are many other big sites that talk about technology.
Of course, you can die trying (and maybe become successful).
However, it’s wise to start with the easy ones. Start with something other people tend to ignore.
Start with something ONLY YOU can have access at.
Why not start with blogging about your hometown?
Some bloggers blog about their hometown: making reviews of restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions.
If you’re the only blogger in your hometown, it means that ONLY YOU who have exclusive access to discover your hometown completely.
If you’re a student at some university, and no one blogs about it, why don’t you take this opportunity?
#3. Sharpen your skills in writing, web design, and SEO
Nobody wants to read an ugly looking blog (standard themes are included!) that is not well written.
Writing is easy. Writing so people will read it, that’s the real challenge.
There are many resources available for you to learn how to write better.
And the good thing is, they’re free!
How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in Five Steps by Dan Shewan is a good start 🙂
And for the web design, if you can’t tweak your own blog theme, hire somebody or buy a premium template for your blog.
This blog uses Genesis framework, one of the best premium theme framework available. Why?
The reason is simple. It’s worth it.
I don’t want to spend more time just to make sure my theme works perfectly.
However, although you’re using a premium theme coded by experts, you still need to know how to change a color of some objects in your blog.
W3Schools is a good place to start learning about HTML and CSS.
#4. Connect with other bloggers
When you press the ‘publish’ button, nobody gives a sh*t about your blog post.
You need to let the others know that you just published a great content in your blog.
Send them an email.
In most cases, sending an email is enough, however, some people prefer Facebook to communicate with each other.
So, be friends with other bloggers with the same or similar topic in Facebook.
Be nice to them, share their posts, and leave a comment every time they post something, gives an appreciation, and mean it.
By building relationships with other bloggers, it will make your job to promote your content easier.
#5. Invest your money and time to be the expert on something you’re ‘already’ good at
You thing you already know everything about survival techniques?
Chances are there is somebody who’s much better than you.
Keep learning at something you’re already good at. Knowledge is the ultimate investment in your life.
It can help you make more money, with or without your blog.
#6. Learn how to sell something (here is the key: copywriting)
There is no point of having a popular blog if you can’t make money from it.
To be able to sell something to your visitor, you need to:
- Gain their trust
- Make them aware of their problems
- Provide the solution (your product)
And the method to do that is called copywriting.
It’s a method of writing that focus on selling products or services or anything you want using words.
In this digital world, almost everything is being sold because of words made by these copywriters.
Even when you wrote a review of a particular product on your blog, and someone buys that product after reading your review, then essentially you are a copywriter.
You just don’t realize it!
There are many resources available if you want to learn about copywriting.
CopyBlogger is a good start!
#7. Build your email list
Who doesn’t have an email account? Probably some monks in Tibet.
We use an email address to sign up for almost every available online service.
Sure, you can sign up using your Facebook account, but you need an email address to sign up to Facebook!
Thus, an email address is one thing that almost everyone has in this modern world.
Building your email list means building a list of your potential customers.
The more subscribers you get, the more money you will make.
Keep that in mind!
For beginners and people who don’t know about the blogging industry, I think this blog post is enough to tell us that blogging is a great tool for making money (or at least helps us to make more money!).
Basically, it’s the same as conventional businesses, the only difference is that a blog helps you reaching your potential customers more effectively.
Blog is a tool to promote, reach out, and find undiscovered potential customers.
It’s a must-have tool for today’s marketers.
If you have a question or don’t know how to monetize your skill with a blog, feel free to leave a comment!
I’m a taxi cab driver, how can I increase my income with a blog?
And don’t forget to share these real life examples of people who make money blogging via Facebook and Twitter 🙂