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Just by the virtue of having a blog, you do not magically make money.
Making money from a blog especially to a point where you draw a full time income per month is a question, many bloggers have.
Some bloggers take years, some months and some never earn any money from their blog.
The number of bloggers that pop up when you google income reports, makes you think every other blogger other than you is making a ridiculous amount of money.
That’s not true. Not true at all.
How much money do bloggers make and how hard is it to make money blogging?
Here’s the best and most recent infographic I could find that accurately sums up key aspects of how bloggers really make money:
Some things that stand out are:
- 69% of the bloggers make zero, but then almost half the bloggers start out as a hobby
- 56% of bloggers rely on another job to make ends meet
- 4% make between $80000-$ 1M
These statistics make it abundantly clear that yes, it is possible to make money with a blog.
They also make it clear, that it is a very small minority that makes enough for a full-time income, which may be heavily biased on where you live.
Pulling in $10000 a year might make for a decent income in Bali, whereas it won’t even cover fixed expenses in Germany.
I explained here how I made over $500 in the first three months of launching this blog.
I have been hobby blogging for about two years, but I started this blog with the intention of one day making it my full time career about six months ago.
However, I am also a realistic person and know that living in western Europe, the switch to a full-time income from a blog, will take a considerable amount of time.
Even though, I am not some one who writes regular income reports, I do feel this is a very relevant question to have.
After all, who doesn’t dream of being the boss of their own blog and making enough money to not have to work for anyone else?
How do bloggers make money?
The passive income dream is in large parts made up of advertisements.
The idea is simple. Based on the number of visitors that arrive on your blog or visitors, and the advertisement network you are a part of, you can make anything from peanuts to thousands per month in blogging income.
Of course, building and sustaining a consistent audience is quite a challenge, but many bloggers choose to pay the bills using advertisements.
Direct ads are also popular especially for bloggers with a large readership and are usually carefully selected by individual bloggers.
#2 Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate links are also a popular way on how successful bloggers make money.
The idea is to link to a product or service that you would like to recommend on your blog, but using an affiliate link instead which when converted, leads to a commission.
There are affiliate programs that are pay-per-click (each click generates a certain commission), pay-per-lead (each sign up generates commission) or pay-per-sale(each person that buys a product or service leads to a commission).
When it comes to passive income, affiliate marketing when done right, can be a consistent source of income.
This is irrespective of page views, and many new bloggers make a decent income with no other stream, but only affiliate marketing.
Michelle, from this blog, runs an incredible personal finance blog and has mastered the art of affiliate marketing.
There are as many affiliate programs out there, as products and services.The one exhausting thing about monetising your blog, is that it takes a LOT of A/B/C/D..testing.
It’s ongoing and continuous, and depending on your niche and audience, can really add up to blogging income.
I’ve written here about the affiliate programs I use to monetise my blog.
So, there’s passive income through advertisements and affiliates.
And then there is active income opportunities.
Brands and companies are often willing to sponsor bloggers in various ways.
They may sponsor a specific advertisement, a review(that may or may not involve a free product), a trip (for travel bloggers), a link or even a guest blog post.
The strength of your domain, quality of your website, blog traffic and target audience often determine the price per post.
Many a times, new bloggers may only be offered free products or a prefixed time of free service, and it entirely depends on the blogger if they would like to charge an extra amount to write about the same.
I find this blogger rate-card very handy if you’d like to work towards figuring out how much to charge for a sponsored post.
Travel bloggers are often on the road with press trips or familiarisation trips where a local tourism board or a company may offer to sponsor a trip in exchange of promotional content.
I, in particular am not a big fan of sponsorships, as it takes a considerable amount of time reaching out to people as a new blogger.
A lot of potential inbounds may or may not align with your blog and a lot of time in spent in filtering when to accept a sponsorship proposal.
Nevertheless, depending on the niche of your blog or website, this can be a very lucrative way to earn money online.
#4 Digital Products
One of the most sustainable ways to earn from a blog, is by creating and selling one’s own digital products.
The important thing about creating online courses is that you control everything.
You control the landing pages, the commission, the payment terms and you can decide to start or stop selling the product whenever you want.
One good tool, that many professional digital product creators use, is Teachable.
It is recommended that you test out your idea or have a significant email list (which could be anything from 500 to 50K people), before you launch a product.
And no, you don’t need to be a certified expert to create, market and sell a course.
If there is anything you can do, that your audience needs help with, that the same audience is willing to pay you for, there you have it!
The great thing about creating courses is that they continue to generate money long after they are live.
Monetarily, it makes more sense to create and sell a course for $200 and pocket 80% of that, which turns out to be $160 per sell.
Rather, than a 10% commission on a $100 product as an affiliate commission, that only nets you $10 per sell.
In this scenario, selling an average priced online course, makes you 16 times more money in the bank, than one affiliate product.
Coaching is an entire offline industry, in and of itself, but having a blog helps you create demand with an extra marketing channel.
If you have already established expertise in a subject matter, and happen to have clients who would pay you to coach them, then coaching can be a very successful way to make money blogging.
This does not only extend to business and entrepreneurship blogs, but pretty much every field you can think of.
Some of the profitable coaching blog niche include:
- Health & Fitness
- Relationship & Dating
- Business & Career
- Personal Development
- And more.
#6 Influencer Marketing
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The hottest topic of the moment, and one that covers many more platforms that just how to make money with a blog.
Influencer marketing, according to this report, is set to have a size of $7.5 billion in the next 3 years.
The amazing thing about this rise in influencers and the rise in marketing through influencers, is that a lot of authentic advertising content can be created without the traditional means of media.
Influencer marketing is not only very focused, but also has a much higher engagement and reaction rate compared to television or online ads.
Granted, there is also a rise of fake influencers, but any company doing a proper due diligence on an influencer, can find out the expected ROI.
This is where having a blog or a website with proof of audience and readership comes into play.
The most popular platforms that help influencers get connected to brands include:
If your social media audience on any one platform is more than 3000 followers, you can apply into this platform. Once you sign up, the platform calculates your reach and then you are open to accepting or declining opportunities.
A good platform for bloggers of various audiences, Webfluential helps influencers connect with like minded brands.
The thing I really like about this platform, is that it provides a way for e-commerce companies (such as Amazon, etc) to connect with bloggers and influencers to make money from their blog.
Some other popular platforms are mentioned in this detailed post.
Some other ways bloggers can make money are:
Offering services that may be as simple as creating a Pinterest board, replying to emails, or moderating a facebook group. Becoming a virtual assistant is a real and very sustainable way to make money online.
Social Media Marketing
Managing social media can take considerable time for a blogger, especially one that is an intermediate or full time blogger. The same is true for companies, of every size looking for social media experts (which many bloggers are) to help them grow their brand.
- Instagram Marketing Case Study With Kicksta
- How To Skyrocket Your Pinterest Followers and Traffic
- 5 Social Media Tips For Exponential Blog Growth
Website Design and Development
Irrespective of whether you have a background in design, once you have learnt how to create and set up a wordpress website, you can replicate the same for clients.
This may not be a way to make money for a non-expert blogger, but many do. If organic traffic generation is your forte, this is a very real way to generate income.
- 4 Beginner SEO Tips Guaranteed To Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
- SEO Check- 4 Amazingly Simple Free Tools For Bloggers
Everything to do with planning, creating and analysing content (which every blogger does) adds up to content marketing. Hence, adding up to a great way to make money blogging.
So, that’s how bloggers make money! It’s not as simple as most bloggers make it look, but it’s also not impossible.
Planning to start a blog? Find a domain name and a server on Siteground today!
If you would like detailed tips, check out my step by step guide to start a blog.
Have an existing blog in need of powerful growth? Check out these services I use and love:
- Tailwind: Pinterest and Instagram scheduling tool.
- Teachable: Create courses online and add to your blogging income.
- ThemeIsle: Premium WordPress themes.
- Grammarly: Automated in-browser Proofreading.
- OptinMonster: Convert and monetize your website traffic.
- LinkTrackr: Affiliate Link Tracking.
- PickMonkey: Photo-editing, Logos and Social Media Graphics.