Today, I’d like to share some of my best tips on how to monetize your blog. I will cover my 20 favorite ways to do it.
The list of things you see below are different things I have done during the past 10-years with my own blog. Some were huge successes, while others were big time failures. I should tell you that each blog and each niche are very different. What works on one blog might not work well on another blog in a different niche.
My goal today is to help you brainstorm different ideas and get you thinking about the possibilities. Go through each one of these ideas and focus on the two or three that interest you the most. From there you can text, experiment and diversify. Keep in mind these ideas are listed in no particular order.
Top 20 Ways to Monetize Your Blog
With that being said, here are my top 20 ways to monetize your blog.
# 1: Sell Banner Ads
While banner ads are not as popular as they once were, they still work. There is still a demand for them. If you have enough traffic, you can sell banner ads per 1,000 views (known as CPM). You could earn anywhere from $1 to $5 per 1,000 impressions. Just make sure you don’t have so many banner ads on your website that it looks cluttered or unprofessional.
Banner ads first appeared on the internet in 1994. In the beginning, the use of internet marketing was minimal. Today the use of banner ads for selling advertising is tremendous. You almost cannot find a site that does not sell banner ads. It is clear that the benefits of selling banner ads on a website provide particular advantages for web site owners.
# 2: Sell Text Links
Google does not like this, but many websites still do it. People might pay you to put links in your content pointing to their website. If you sell a link, make sure it is a “no follow” link.
But before selling text-links, you have to be very careful to avoid any possibility of getting penalized by Google. As these are links you are selling to the buyers, you have to sell these links within the norms of Google policies. You are advised to use the Nofollow tag for these links.
Source: Media Tomo
# 3: Sell Sponsored Listings
This is becoming a very popular way to monetize a blog. This is when a company or person writes an article and they pay you to publish their article on your website. Depending on your traffic, you could easily earn $250 to $1,000 or more per listing.
Too many sponsored posts can hurt your reputation with your audience. They like your blog because of you, not your sponsors. Consider setting up limits for the amount of sponsored posts you’ll do. If you have 3 sponsored posts waiting for publishing, don’t post them back to back, even if there is a week in between. Always have authentic content from you in between sponsored posts.
Source: the balance
# 4: Write Reviews
Many bloggers build up a nice income from writing reviews about different products and services. Basically, you order a product, try it out, and then write an article covering what you like and don’t like about it. You then provide your affiliate link for your visitors to check the product out and potentially purchase it.
Just about every post you do can be a partial review post if you are doing it correctly. This is the essential bit here — no one is really going to pay any attention to your review posts unless they respect you, believe in you, have rapport with you. In other words they feel you can be trusted.
Source: Income Diary
# 5: Promote Affiliate Products
One of the most popular ways to monetize your blog is to promote different affiliate products. Many people start out with Amazon or Clickbank. Look for affiliate products with a good payout per sale and most importantly, look for affiliate products and services that provide REAL VALUE to your audience. You can use text links, reviews and banners to promote these affiliate products.
This performance-based revenue works best when the blog and the company share the same target audience. Find a company that you believe your readers might actually be interested in. Otherwise, you’re reducing your chances to drive leads and sales. Having this affinity with the brand also means that you will be able to promote it better. When you can find ways to connect the product’s value with your organic content, you make a stronger sales pitch.
# 6: Sell Your Own Products
You can create your own physical or digital products to sell. This could include eBooks, courses, seminars, books, training programs, etc. The beauty of selling your own products is you do not have any competition with others promoting your products. They are exclusive to your website. Plus, the margins are typically much higher than with affiliate products.
Of course, you can always make extra money by turning your WordPress blog into a full-fledged eCommerce venture. It takes some investment of time to make the transfer from selling ideas to selling products, but online stores are good sources of extra income. You will need to research your new buying audience and the niche topics you‘ll need to write about to draw them into your store. If you sell products relevant to your blog, you’re almost there anyway. You might even think about starting a subscription box service.
Source: Liquid Web
# 7: Become a Speaker
Another great way to monetize your blog is to become a public speaker. If your blog becomes really popular, some organizations in your niche may want to hire you to come speak at their event. This can be very lucrative.
Your blog is proof of your hard work and expertise on a field or topic. It also shows your dedication, expertise, consistency, organization skills, reporting skills, and your passion.
These are the attributes that any event organizer would want for their invited speakers to have.
# 8: Sell Coaching
This will vary from niche to niche, but you can let your audience “hire an expert.” You can sell your coaching or consulting services.
While it does seem like coaching services are infiltrating every aspect of the market these days, selling coaching services through your blog can definitely be a lucrative prospect. Whether you set yourself up as a life coach, a career coach or a business development coach, you can earn a significant income through just a handful of clients.
# 9: Build Your Email List
One of the best ways to monetize your blog is to grow your own email list. That should be the # 1 priority of every blogger: to build a list. As you develop an email list, you can communicate frequently with your subscribers, provide value, send eyeballs back to your blog, and generate additional sales.
Building up an email list from day one of your blogging can give you a head start in one of the most effective marketing tools available to bloggers. Directly emailing your contacts products and services you offer or are affiliated with, you truly set yourself apart in the marketing world. If you are sending out a newsletter, confirmation, or other auto responses in email form you can easily incorporate ads into these spaces. This is one of the ways that pro-bloggers set themselves apart from the hobbyists.
# 10: Paid Interviews
Once your blog starts to gain some steady traffic, you can do paid interviews. Basically, someone pays you to interview them. You can then take that content and put it into a blog post, or just have the video in a blog post. This is similar to a sponsored listing and it is becoming very popular.
Consider offering sponsors a video interview (or even a series) as part of their packages. If your sponsors are local, have them drop into your office and record a short interview in which you ask them about their products and services in a thoughtful conversation using a flipcam or smart phone. If they are not local use Skype or GoToMeeting. Then, publish the video on your website and social media accounts to get it in front of your members. Perhaps even include it in your blog or email communications. You are blogging, right?
Source: Mojo Media Labs
# 11: Live Events
Use your blog to promote your live events. You could host conferences, masterminds, webinars, etc. You can leverage your blog visitors to help you fill the seats at your live events. This is where the BIG MONEY comes from blogging.
You also can blend the in-person training of consulting with the group coaching of an online training program to create live workshops. Walk your students through every step of what you know LIVE! Bonus points if you get an outside sponsor to help subsidize your costs. You get more bonus points if you film everything that happens at the event and then sell the digital sessions. Ah, multiple levels of income potential from one event — it’s a beautiful thing!
# 12: Google Adsense
Adsense is not what it once was. Through the years, my Adsense income dropped every year. It was fun when I first started using it, but I have found many better alternatives (they are on this top 20 list). That being said, for a newbie, Adsense can be a great place to get started because it is simple and easy to use.
Google AdSense is hassle free because you don’t have to deal with advertisers or worry about collecting money. Google administers and maintain relationships with the advertisers. They collect the payment, take their management fee, and send the rest of the money to you.
# 13: Joint Ventures
A joint venture is when you partner up with another blogger, company or entrepreneur to help them promote a product or service, in exchange for a commission. Keep your eyes and ears open for potential joint venture partners. And when someone approaches you, keep an open mind and hear what they have to say. Sometimes you will be presented with some amazing opportunities where you can leverage your audience and make a nice income in a short amount of time.
There are many different variants of joint venture (JV) partnerships — but the most frequent kind of JV partnership entails one party having incredibly valuable content and the other party having an audience hungry for that content.
# 14: Guest Writers
Similar to sponsored listings, many other bloggers will PAY YOU to have you post one of their unique articles on your blog. This is a win-win, because it gives you more content, more visitors and more income. It also helps the other person.
Search engines like Google want your readers and their searchers to benefit from the content on your website… no matter who is writing it. You just have to make sure the content you are publishing is great and not mediocre.
Source: quick sprout
# 15: Create a Directory
You could create a directory on your blog. For example, on my blog I have a list for my Trusted MLM Distributor Directory. I charge people to be listed in there.
Selling listings can be an effective way to generate recurring revenue, especially for directory niches like jobs or retail estate. Consider charging a monthly subscription, or a one-off fee for a set amount of display time. However, to charge for listings, your site will need to be receiving high amounts of traffic.
# 16: Work as a Freelancer
You could use your blog to help you find more freelance clients who would hire you to work for them. For example, if you love to write, you could sell your writing services. If your readers think your content is unique and high quality, and they are in a similar niche, some of them may hire you to work for them.
Brands are desperately looking for bloggers with the relevant skillsets. And becoming a freelance blogger can transform your financial life.
Skilled freelance bloggers make a living from their efforts. And more money is yet to be made, as B2B and B2C companies increasingly recognize content as the ultimate tool for attracting leads and nurturing a loyal audience.
# 17: Repurpose Your Content
One of the best ways to monetize your blog is to repurpose your content. For example, my blog has almost 1600 articles. I can take those articles and turn them into Kindle books, courses, seminars, books, training programs and more. You can do the same thing.
As you continue to grow your audience, you will find they have specific needs and will even ask you for solutions. You can create products to fulfill those needs and sell them directly on your blog, knowing that they will pay for it.
For example, to create an online course, you can split up the validated topic into a series of blog posts, turn them all into videos, and package it up so that it delivers a specific outcome to your readers.
# 18: Sell Leads
Another great way to monetize your blog is to sell leads. For example, if your blog specializes in pet care, you could partner up with different dog walkers or dog groomers and sell qualified leads to them. Basically, someone visits your blog and fills out a form requesting more information about a specific topic, and then you put them in touch with the right merchant. This is very lucrative depending on your niche.
If you have a niche blog, your visitors’ information is valuable to other companies. For example, if you ran a blog on insurance…insurance companies would love to pay for access to your readers’ information.
The information for each reader is called a “lead”. And as long as you’re transparent about it, you can collect this information and sell it to other companies. You’re basically connecting an interested person (the lead) with a company that fits their need…for a fee.
# 19: Sell Your Blog or Flip Blogs
Flipping blogs is a very lucrative way to make money blogging, if you know what you are doing. Even a small blog is worth SOME money. You can buy a blog that someone else started, invest some time, money and sweat equity and flip it for a nice profit. Or, you can do those things and keep it and just enjoy the extra income.
If your blog is making money, you will have buyers fighting against each other in order to win the auction for your blog. Conversely, if your blog does not make much money, there is a good chance that you will be the one spending all your time asking people to bid. It is therefore always better to sell your blog once it has become profitable.
# 20: Network Marketing
I saved the best for last. One of my favorite ways to monetize my blog is network marketing. I build my network marketing business 100% online and promote it like an affiliate product. It makes 5x to 10x more than all of my other income streams combined. If you have an internet friendly MLM Company with products and services that align with your niche, you should consider joining a network marketing company.
Network marketing companies have been around for decades, and bloggers are starting to incorporate them into their monetization plan. Once you join a network marketing company, you can feature the products on your blog much like an affiliate program, but earn much more. Many network marketing companies offer a 30% commission on your sales.
Tips for Success
If I was just going to share a few tips for success when it comes to monetizing your blog, this is what I would tell you.
First off, you will not make much money until you have traffic. You need to focus on building up your traffic BEFORE you become real obsessed with making money. It doesn’t matter what methods you are using to make money with your blog, without traffic you won’t make anything at all! Try to build up at least 500-1000 daily visitors before you focus on monetizing your blog.
Next, try to focus on no more than 2-3 income streams initially. One of the worst things you can do is have 50-100 income streams right out the gate. You might eventually get to that point, but don’t start off that way. Just focus on a few so you can figure out what works best for you.
Finally, make sure you test and experiment. This is one of my best tips. You never really know WHAT your visitors want to buy. You might think you do, but ultimately they will decide for themselves. Test out different income streams for 90-days. If no one purchases it or wants it, remove it from your blog and try out something else. Keep doing this until you find something that converts well.
In conclusion, these are 20 ways to monetize your blog. Which idea on my list was your favorite and why? What did I leave out, but should have included? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.