Disclaimer: this blog post contains affiliate links to products that I personally use and love.
How do bloggers really make money?
You might have been surprised to hear that you can actually make a full time living (and then some!) by starting a money-making blog. Many bloggers these days are very transparent with their monthly income reports, which can be highly motivating (Michelle from Making Sense of Cents makes 6 figures PER MONTH…and roughly half of that comes from affiliate marketing – more on that later in this post).
Here are 4 ways that bloggers are actually making an income from their blogs:
(If you haven’t started a blog yet, that is your first step! Click here for full instructions on starting a blog today).
Start An Email List
Why? There are a few reasons.
Number one, by starting an email list, you can begin building a relationship with your audience. They will come to know, like, and trust you.
Number two, you can communicate with them on a regular basis. I recommend sending out a newsletter at least once per week, detailing new blog posts, doing a Q and A, reviewing a product, etc. Bonus points if you include a video of yourself!
Number three, you will have a built-in audience for when you launch new products, create a new blog post, or even do a joint-venture with another blogger (hint: bloggers with a large number of email subscribers are in demand with other bloggers and companies)
I personally use Convert Kit for my email list, and I love how easy it is to use. You can create lists, send out automatic emails when someone signs up, and more.
This is one of my favorite ways to make money from my blog. Basically, affiliate marketing is when you recommend or review various products on your blog, along with a link for people to get more info or make a purchase.
When someone clicks on your link and buys a product, you receive a portion of the sale price.
It is best to recommend products that you personally use and love, and give honest reviews and recommendations.
Where did I learn all I need to know about affiliate marketing? Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.
Affiliate marketing (in my opinion) is one of the easiest ways to make passive income on your blog. You can start out with something as easy as Amazon links, and then check out sites like ShareASale for even more ideas.
Another way to make money on your blog is through ad revenue. Now, this one comes with some controversy, as some bloggers believe that it isn’t smart to place ads because it encourages visitors to leave your blog (possibly never to return).
On the other hand, some bloggers are making a nice chunk of change every month by placing ads from places like Google Adsense and Peerfly.
This is a personal choice, and you have to weigh the pros and cons of ad placement. Keep in mind that you need pretty high blog traffic in order to make ads pay off.
Selling Your Own Products
Selling my own information products is what gave me my start with my online business back in 2004. It allowed me to quit my job and stay home with my two kiddos. In short, I HIGHLY recommend that you start thinking about creating something to sell on your blog.
Because you have full control over it. You aren’t relying on any other programs which may or may not exist in the future.
One of the easiest ways to get started with your own product is to create an eBook. Why? Because they are simple to create, sell, and deliver (click here to get my free email course all about eBook creation and selling).
Another profitable product to create is an online course. This requires more work, but the payoff can be greater. Courses can consist of text only, but will be even more valuable with video. There are many tools to help you create an online course, and these days, it is easier than ever (click here to read about my Online Course Creator).
Start thinking about your niche, things that you are knowledgable about, and how you can help your readers solve a common problem that they are facing. I bet you can come up with at least 5 ideas for an eBook or course in the next ten minutes! Give it a try.
Multiple Streams of Income
Smart bloggers know not to put all of their eggs in one basket. You really should combine and use as many revenue streams as possible in order to start making a full time income from your blog. Don’t feel like you have to add everything at once. My recommendation would be to start your email list right away, then choose one monetization stream to start, and add others when you are able.
My biggest piece of advice? Get started! Let me know how I can help you in the comments below.