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When people find out I am a blogger, they immediately want to know how to make money blogging. They automatically assume I’ve landed this dream job and I am lucky for it. But what they don’t understand is that anyone with a passion to blog about, can do it as well.
There are multiple ways to make money blogging. Some will earn money up front and others will create a stream of passive income. It’s great to focus on creating streams of passive income throughout your blog. This way your blog can continue making money, even when you aren’t working.
So lets get into the different ways on how to make money blogging. If you don’t already have a blog, you can learn How to Start a Blog here.
1 – Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission when someone uses your link to purchase an item from a website. There are tons of companies you can work with as an affiliate marketer. One of the most well known being Amazon. But you can also work with your favorite brands like Target, favorite clothing stores or even travel agencies. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to generate income when you first start a blog. It’s also a great way to set your blog up for passive income. You can join affiliate networks which makes it easy to connect with your favorite brands.
The affiliate networks I have had success with are:
If you are looking to narrow your focus on higher paying affiliate offers, then you’ll want to sign up for the MaxBounty affiliate program.
The great thing about affiliate marketing is you can get started as soon as you have your blog up. You can learn how to start your blog here if you don’t already have one. You’ll have to submit your website to get accepted into these networks, but once you are accepted, you can access 1000s of advertisers to work with. Each advertiser will have it’s own set of rules as far as how much you make per purchase. There are a lot of great offers out there for bloggers in this area.
You are not limited to working with advertisers in the networks either. A lot of companies have their own affiliate programs through their websites. If you know of a product you love and want to advertise, you can usually find out if a company has an affiliate program by searing, “the companies name affiliate program.” If they have an affiliate program, they’ll have a form for you to fill out and you’ll be able to start creating posts for them as soon as you are approved!
Affiliate marketing in action:
I have success with affiliate programs with subscription boxes because people usually want to have an idea of what is in the box before making the purchase. You can see an example of an affiliate marketing post done for Spangler Science. You do not need to do videos or have a YouTube channel for blogging or affiliate marketing. If you do have a YouTube channel or are able to produce videos, it can help in the long run when getting sponsored posts. You’ll get paid a lot more if you are able to produce both, but it isn’t required.
An example of an affiliate marketing post I have done using Amazon is Top 15 Games for an Epic Family Game Night. This type of affiliate marketing works well because it focuses on a search topic with the intent to buy. If someone is searching for game ideas, it is likely they want to purchase a game but aren’t sure which one. As sad as I am about Toys R Us closing, I have to admit that it really gives bloggers a great advantage! Target and Wal-Mart just can’t compare to the toy selection of Toys R Us, leaving Amazon as one of the best options to purchase toys and games.
An example of an indirect affiliate marketing post I have done is the Strawberry Bread Recipe for Teacher Appreciation Week & Printable. For this post, I used Pinteret as the dominant source to drive traffic to my blog. People come to the post to print the free printable and recreate this for their teachers and most end up purchasing the twine for that extra look. Twine is super cheap, so you are probably wondering how this works. Let me tell you a little secret about the Amazon affiliate program. When you send someone to their website, you receive commission on anything purchased within 24 hours of sending someone to your link. So if they add a few extras to their cart, you benefit from that as well!
A post like the strawberry bread recipe alone, won’t pay all your bills, but when combined with several other high traffic seasonal search topics like, You’re The Balm Valentine, you’ll quickly see the results add up. Since these are topics that are searched for yearly and popular searches on Pinterest, you can see how this type of affiliate marketing can create compound passive income over the years.
2 – Display Ads
Display ads are one of the easiest ways to earn money off your blog. Especially if you have a blog that gets a lot of traffic. Some high traffic content ideas are: recipes, holiday related posts and kid related arts and crafts or homeschooling ideas. Health and fitness related blogs also generate high traffic.
I would be careful to not saturate your blog with these as you could lose followers this way. But a few ads here and there on each page can really start to add up without taking away from the appearance of your blog. In Article Ads, are a great way to include ads that flow with your content, vs ads that pop up and annoy the user.
The great thing about display ads is that you can work with certain networks the day you get your blog published! Your first month blogging, you can easily make back your $4/month for hosting the blog, plus additional income. Google AdSense is a great place to start. I was able to get approved for ads with Google AdSense right after I published my first blog post.
Once you have 25k sessions in a 30 day period, you’ll want to switch to a higher paying network like Mediavine. With Mediavine, you’ll earn 5-10 times the amount per click and impressions that you do with Google AdSense.
3 – Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are posts that you are paid by a company to write. These can be blog posts, social media posts or a combination of both. Sponsored posts can be a lot of fun and a great way to try new products. Make sure when writing these posts that your opinions are your own and only work with brands you would recommend anyway to maintain the reputation of your blog. I started receiving sponsored post requests with as little as 1,000 social media followers and less than 5 months of blogging so don’t be afraid to start applying for opportunities early on. As your blog grows, so will your opportunities and income with sponsored posts.
Just like with affiliate marketing, their are networks you can join for Sponsored Post opportunities. Here are some of my favorites:
4 – Product Creation or Product Sales
Selling your own products from your blog is a great way to earn income. You can sell printables you create, an eBook or courses. You can even sell merchandise, oils or cook books. The only limit here, is what you are capable of creating or selling. A lot of bloggers start a blog for the sole purpose of selling products. You’ll get a much larger reach with having a blog for your sales which results in a much higher income for you!
If you currently sell products like Essential Oils or beauty products, consider selling them through a blog. Create content around your topic. “How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent” would be great for someone who sells oils. Just include the links for the oils needed in this recipe in your blog post so they purchase them directly from you. This way your reach goes much further than family and friends and you can include the other money making aspects of owning a blog as well.
5 – Guest Writing
This is where other bloggers pay you to write a blog post for their blog or site. This isn’t limited to just bloggers, but larger companies will also pay you for exclusive content for their sites. Companies are realizing and embracing the influence that bloggers have and are adding blogs to their existing websites. Oriental Trading is just one example of this. If you really enjoy writing, this is an area you’ll want to look more into.
6 – Virtual Assistant
While building up your blog, you can work as a virtual assistant for larger bloggers. This is a great way to both earn income and learn the techniques the successful bloggers are doing. There are several VA groups on Facebook you can join to connect with bloggers looking for virtual assistants. Just search Facebook for VA groups or Virtual Assistant groups and join the ones that appeal to you.
It is a really exciting time to start a blog! Every day, more and more companies are taking their advertising budgets and putting more towards Influencers and Bloggers. This is great for everyone because when you purchase through an affiliate link or sponsored link, you aren’t paying more. This just means the company is now paying a stay at home mom or someone like YOU a portion of their advertising budget instead of giving it all away to larger corporations.
The perks of blogging don’t end here. You can also earn free or discounted travel in exchange for blog and social media posts. There are referral programs that let you earn free products as well. You can read about how to get free KidPik boxes here. The Airbnb referral program is a favorite of mine. They make it really easy to earn free places to stay with the $40 off coupon referral they offer.
Related: How to Start a Blog