Curious about bloggers' income sources? Learn about 3 ways to make money blogging and the 3 things you must have to be profitable.
It’s easy to start feeling frustrated if you’ve been blogging for a while and aren’t making the money you thought you would. Regardless of how many “gurus” claim you can make $100,000 a month from your blog in less than a year, blogging is NOT a get rich quick scheme. It is a long-term income strategy.
Requirements for an Income-Producing Blog
Let’s talk about some of the ways to make money blogging, but before we can make money, here are three things that are essential to have.
Requirement 1 – Content
Content is the foundation of your blog. Don’t skimp on this part. Do your research and make sure everything you publish is the very best content you can create.
So many people think that all you have to do is throw together a few blog posts and you’ll start making money. But that’s not how it works. The reason “content is king” is such a popular saying is because it’s 100% true. Without great content, it’s difficult to monetize your blog.
Requirement 2 – Planning
It’s hard to crank out consistently good content without a plan for what that content is going to be. If you’re writing whatever you feel like for the day with no rhyme or reason and then hitting publish, chances are your blog will not be successful.
Some bloggers build a brand based around sharing their lives or ranting, but the amount of people who truly care about how your day went and how you’re doing with your toddler’s potty training journey is usually fairly small.
People want to get something for themselves from reading your blog. What’s in it for them? Why should they continue reading?
The key to getting your readers to come back day after day, week after week, is to educate or entertain. If you can do one or both of those things, you’re already ahead of the game.
Plan out the type of content that will be helpful to your readers. Having a plan also helps defeat writer’s block!
Requirement 3 – Traffic
Traffic is important if you want to monetize your blog. You don’t have to have millions of pageviews, but if people aren’t reading your content, they can’t buy anything, right?
If you’re monetizing your site with ads, your traffic is going to need to be much higher than if you’re building a solid email list and selling products. Either way, it never hurts to get more traffic.
When you have a plan, content, and traffic, your monetization efforts will really start to pay off.
3 Ways to Make Money Blogging
Making money with ads takes a fair amount of traffic. You can start out by charging for ad space manually on a new blog. For example, some new bloggers will charge $20 a month for ad space on their sidebar. This is a quick way to monetize a brand new blog.
But you’ll be managing the entire process—from selling the ad space to putting the ad on your site to collecting payment.
It’s much less work to use an ad network, so that’s what most bloggers do.
Most ad networks have a traffic requirement that you need to meet. This varies depending on the network. The requirements listed below are accurate as of this writing, but they may change.
Ezoic has one of the lowest traffic thresholds at 10,000 visits per month.
Adthrive has one of the highest requirements—100,000 pageviews.
One thing to note—each of these three networks is looking at a different traffic measure. Ezoic looks at visits, Mediavine looks at sessions, and Adthrive looks at pageviews.
While some of these requirements seem high, you can reach them even if you have a small or unusual niche.
Regardless of which ad network you decide to go with, pay attention to how many and what types of ads are on your blog. You don’t have to use all of the ads that the network may suggest.
Everyone has their own idea of how many ads they want to have on their sites, so choose the number that you’re comfortable with.
Affiliate marketing is where you promote other people’s products, and they pay you a commission if one of your readers makes a purchase. Some bloggers make six figures from affiliate earnings alone, so it can definitely be lucrative.
Affiliate marketing is something you can start as a new blogger, but I do recommend publishing at least 10-15 blog posts first. This is because many brands only want to work with established bloggers. When they visit your site to see what your blog is about, you’ll want to make sure you put your best foot forward and have awesome content up!
To get started with promoting products as an affiliate, think about products you use on a regular basis and absolutely love. Think about products that will help make your readers’ lives easier.
You can also reach out to companies and directly to see if they have an affiliate program you can join.
Don’t forget about Amazon! They don’t pay a very high commission, but because of the variety of products and the Prime shipping perks, you may be able to earn a nice monthly income.
PRO TIP: Only promote products you truly believe in. It may be tempting to promote junk products to make a quick buck, but I promise you’ll make more in the long run if you are your authentic self.
Designing and selling your own digital products is one of my favorite ways to make passive income through my blog. You can sell ebooks, cheat sheets, a monthly membership, meal plans, or even courses. The possibilities with digital products are literally endless, and they’re mostly passive once you get them set up.
Create one time, sell thousands of times, rinse and repeat. Check out my other article for digital product ideas for your blog.
If you want to learn how to create digital products easily and quickly, check out Sadie Smiley's Digital Business Bank course.
No matter which path(s) you decide to take towards monetizing your blog, remember it comes down to delivering value for your audience. If you write blog posts that are engaging, easy to read, and helpful, your audience will come back for more every single time.
What are your favorite ways to make money blogging?