How to make money blogging… Isn’t that the dream? I see this question get asked all the time, everywhere and I get it. You’re working really hard on your blog, you probably hate your day job, and you’re seeing lots of people who are doing this for a living. It makes sense to want that and wonder when you can have it – so let’s break it down. We’re going to go over the 7 most popular ways to make money from your blog 😊

I think that the biggest mistake I see people making is thinking that they can just write and money will follow. It doesn’t exactly work that way.

 

Your blog is the support piece. It’s what helps create authority for you in your niche, it brings you an audience and a platform, and attracts businesses who may want to work with you. It’s up to you what you do with/for that audience to bring in money.

 

Writing blog posts alone won’t generate income. You have to run ads, sell products or services, or do something. I feel like a lot of people just start writing and think brands will just reach out to them. There is a lot more work and strategy involved.

I think it’s so important to have a plan and to consider the money-making aspect if you want to earn a living blogging. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs get 6 months into a business and realize that it won’t be profitable (or not in the way that they wanted).

Plus, going through the options might totally change the way you THOUGHT you we’re going to make money from your blog. You may have thought you were going to provide services but you want something more passive. Or you thought you were going to only do advertising but you want to make money without needing a huge following. Take some time to really think about the income sources you want to use and how you’re going to set up your blog to support it.

I also have a free Blog Income Calculator – it will literally help you figure out how long it will take to make money from your blog – for real. I made it so that you can stop guessing and start planning! When I looked at monetizing with this strategy, it really helped me get clear about what I needed to do to make money. It’s a must do exercise. You can find it in the free library. Get the password here:

 

How Long Will It Take to Make Money Blogging?

 


ACTIVE VS. PASSIVE INCOME

There are two main types of income in the online game. Active income is what you have when the money you earn is directly related to the time you put in. An example of the most active income is actually going to a job where you’re paid by the hour. You get paid for the work that you put in, and if you stop going, the flow of income stops too.

Passive income is basically the opposite. It’s an income stream that you set up to sustain itself with little to no work required. It may take a little more work at the start to get going, but once it’s up and running, the income can keep coming in even if your work flow lessens or stops.

 

I’ve ranked the 7 methods from the most active to the most passive, but first let me give you a few things to think about:

 

  1. Remember that serving people is ALWAYS the best way to make money. People aren’t going to buy something they don’t need or doesn’t help them and they’re not going to be a repeat customer if they buy and don’t find value. Keep your tribe at the centre of everything you do and you should have no problem making money through one of these methods. The key? Pick the methods that serve your audience the best 😊
  2. The most profitable blogs have a mix of different income streams. It’s kind of like the saying ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. It’s just smart business.
  3. Almost every element on this list (apart from the first and the last) can move up and down on the passive to active scale, depending on your business and your lifestyle. You can make nearly ANY business more passive by hiring people to take over some – or all – of the workload. You can also be a work-a-holic on some of the most passive business models by working to grow, expand, get more clients or buyers. It’s not set in stone! The more active options, however, will not be able to be made passive until you have a bit of money to hire a team. At the start, you’ll have to put the work in but that’s nothing new – in entrepreneurship, there’s no avoiding that hustle!

 

PHYSICAL OR DIGITAL SERVICES

 

How to Make Money Blogging - 7 Major Types of Income PLUS A free Blog Income Calculator that will help you see EXACTLY how long it will take to make money from your blog

 

Services are things like public speaking, photography, consulting, styling, etc – any service you perform that requires you to show up and do work. When I say show up, however, they don’t always have to be in person. You can offer services online through video, messages, Skype, the phone, etc. There are so many types of services out there and they’re usually great when you’re just getting started. As you try to scale your business, many people switch from services to products because it’s more passive but I still believe services are a great way to get started. You work directly with your dream clients so you can learn a lot about them and from them that sets you up to be even more successful with different income sources later. Some examples of services:

  • Social media or ads manager.
  • Stylist or beauty consultant.
  • Trainer or coach (in fitness, business, or any other niche).

Earning potential: What you can make varies for each service, but it can be very profitable. You’re usually going to charge per hour or per service and you’ll decide what’s worth your time.

Time to earn: It depends on the industry but usually you need to establish yourself as an expert on your topic first, which can take a while. People need to know that they’re going to get value by hiring you. The good part about services, however, is that all you need to do is convince that FIRST person and you can start earning money. You don’t need tons of traffic to do so.

How to charge: Again, you set your own rates with services so you decide what your service is worth. Don’t forget to factor in your costs for when you’re not on the clock. For example, photographers need to include their editing time in what they charge!

Passive or active: Very active. If you stop performing the services, the income stops too.

Who is this good for:

  • People who are just getting started and don’t have a major following.
  • People who just want to connect directly with others and charge a higher price point.
  • People who prefer connecting via videos, phone calls, or in person to provide a service.

 

MEMBERSHIP SITES

 

 

Membership sites are those that people pay a monthly or yearly fee to join. It gives them access to content, community, and whatever else you chose to provide in exchange for your fee. I used to say that

Earning potential: High. Membership sites can make a lot of money if you have a lot of members, but they can also be pretty risky. They can fizzle out quickly if you don’t have the right combination of great content and a strong community.

Time to earn: A membership site isn’t the longest monetization strategy – it only takes a few people who want to join for you to start making money. The only problem is that you want to have a lot of members so people can really benefit from a community that forms inside. So with your first profits, you’ll probably want to invest the money back into marketing to get more sign ups.

Passive or active: Pretty active. There is a lot of work involved in membership sites. With someone paying on a consistent basis, they’re going to expect to get real value and results from your site. You’ll need to update it often, be working inside the community to ensure it stays active, and be pushing out great new content at least once a month. And that’s just once you have some members inside. You still have to put out blog posts and do the marketing to get new people to join. You could automate the process to take the work out of your hands, but it would be quite expensive.

Who is this good for: 

  • People who don’t want to launch a course or products multiple times a year.
  • People who need a more consistent monthly income.
  • People who have a following that needs a community or a regular service.

 

PHYSICAL PRODUCTS

Physical products are those that exist physically – you would pay someone to produce them, market them, sell and ship them out or do it yourself. There are several ways you can do this:

  • Start your own online store.
  • Sell handmade goods on a site like Etsy.
  • Sell wholesale products through Amazon.

Earning potential: High. Physical products can bring in a lot of revenue. Starting an online store can be challenging but very profitable and can lead to a lot of other opportunities. With the average consumer online shopping more and more each year, there is money to be made here.

Time to earn: It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to sell your first product. With platforms like Etsy & Amazon, a lot of people have managed to create great incomes within the span of a year. It’s all about how much you can invest to begin with and then how hard you work to get things going.

Passive or active: This (and the next on the list) are in the middle because they can be very active or pretty passive. If you’re planning to do everything for yourself, you’ll have to be very active in your company. It’s a lot of work to design, outsource (or create the product yourself), market, store, sell, ship, and provide the customer service. It’s a very time consuming business and you’ll have to eventually hire employee’s to cover some of the work load. There are ways to outsource it, however. For example, if you source your product, you can have it shipped directly to a shipping provider (like Amazon Fulfillment Centres) who will package it and ship it out for you for a small fee off of each sale. Once you have a product you like, you’re basically removed from the actual physical part. All you’ll be responsible for is the marketing and customer service, which you can outsource too. With an online store, especially as it beings to grow, you can choose your level of involvement.

 

AFFILIATE MARKETING

 

How to Make Money Blogging - 7 Major Types of Income PLUS A free Blog Income Calculator that will help you see EXACTLY how long it will take to make money from your blog

 

An affiliate is someone who promotes a product or service and then makes a percentage of the purchase price for whoever they convince to buy it. It’s basically commission for introducing things to your audience. You can be an affiliate for almost anything – literally. Amazon has an affiliate program and they sell everything. There is something in almost every niche that you can become an affiliate for.

Earning potential: It depends on the industry. Different products/services have different commission structures. With physical products, you may only earn 8-10% from each sale you generate. For info products, like an online course, the commission is much higher, averaging at about 30%. Generally affiliate marketing can be very profitable if you have a large audience and you promote effectively.

Time to earn: You can’t make much money as an affiliate without anyone to promote to – so you’ll need a decent sized audience first. It can take time to get steady traffic to your blog.

Passive or active: With affiliate marketing, you get what you give. It can be really passive – you can put up one post promoting your product and leave it at that – but don’t expect to make a huge income. The more you promote the products you’re an affiliate for, the more money you’ll make. One popular post that gets viewed again and again could bring you affiliate revenue for months and months – but you won’t always get that lucky. Affiliate marketing can be passive or active, depending on how it’s done.

How to charge: you make a percentage or commission from each sale – so the owner will set the rate. The more sales you refer, the more money you’ll make. Another thing to note about affiliate marketing is that you’re promoting a product and generating a sale, but only making a small portion of the revenue. If you have the capability, selling and promoting your own products is much more lucrative.

Who this is for: 

  • People who want to position themselves as influencers.
  • People who have a decent following or number of pageviews.
  • People that want to make a little money by recommending products they use and love.

 

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PRIVATE ADVERTISING

 

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Private advertising is running your own ads, not through a network or ad program. You can reach out to companies or companies will reach out to you to advertise them in any number of ways. You can offer a banner ad on your website, do a sponsored post featuring their product, post a photo to Instagram or Facebook, talk about them in a review – the possibilities are vast, which is why it’s such a great tool.

Earning potential: High. Private advertising can make you a lot of money. You usually charge per thousand impressions, so with a big following you can be charging a lot. Without a decent size following, however, you won’t be as attractive to advertisers and wont be able to charge very much.

Time to earn: As with most of these methods, the amount of money you make depends on the amount viewers you get to your site. The faster you can grow your audience, the faster you can make money. It can take a long time to get your blog to the level where you can be charging $100+ an ad.

Passive or active: This can really depend on the advertiser. Some will be very specific in what they want – they’ll send you the photo they want you to use, the caption if you’re posting to social media. In this case, the income is pretty passive. It is minimal work to post a photo, and it depends on your niche how hard you have to work to maintain your following to keep attracting advertisers. Some advertisers really want to work in collaboration with you – they might like your photography style, or want you to write a sponsored posts, or hold a giveaway. These will take up more of your time. They’re also more engaging, so you can charge more. You can decide your offerings, so you can make it as passive or as active as you want. Having a wider variety of options, however, can increase the amount of money you’ll make.

How to charge: generally you charge a rate based on your number of monthly views. Usually it’s on a CPM model, which is a cost per 1000 page views. So a $5 cpm means that you could charge $5 x the number of 1000 page views you get each month. If you only have 1000 viewers, you’ll only make $5. You can charge a higher CPM if you have a really engaged following, are doing more work, or have a lot of competition in your niche. But as you can see, it takes a lot of views to make good money through ads at the start.

Who this is for: 

  • People who want to position themselves as influencers.
  • People who have a decent following or number of pageviews.
  • People that want to make a little money by recommending products they use and love.

 

DIGITAL PRODUCTS

 

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Info products are any kind of product or service that you sell digitally. You can sell online courses, ebooks, templates, printables, etc.

Earning Potential: I think that digital products are the most valuable income stream. They can earn you a huge amount of money and the best part is that you don’t need 100,000 pageviews a month to do it. All it takes is an engaged audience who is interested enough in what you’re selling to pay for it. The same 10,000 page views that would earn you $100 in ad revenue could earn you 10x that amount if you were selling your own course. Even if you had a course for $100 and only ONE person bought it, you could make as much money as you would by busting your butt to get those 10,000 viewers.

Time to earn: You can start earning from your digital products right away. With the right audience, all you need is a few people to sign up to make your first $100-$1000.

Passive or active: Pretty passive, which is why I love this income source the best. It takes some hard work and dedication at the start, but once you have a great offering and some traffic to your site, you can sell your digital product again and again. There’s no packing and shipping – just an email or a download that you can send out through an automated service. No work required. You should update your course periodically to increase the value, as well as market it, but you get the biggest payoff for your time required with these types of products.

How to charge: There is no real way to say what to charge. You’ll have to look at what similar products/programs are running for and price yourself competitively. You also need to think of the value you’re giving to the buyer or student. If you’re teaching a course that will earn them thousands and up, you should make a decent amount of money from giving them the skills. If you’re selling a product that will help THEM earn sales, you should keep that in mind. Think of not just the time and energy you’re putting in but what this will be worth to them.

Who this is for: 

  • People who want to live a more passive lifestyle but still make good money.
  • People with an audience who needs a TOOL or a TRAINING that you can provide.

 

ADVERTISING NETWORKS

 

 

Advertising networks, like Adsense, are a great option when you’re starting out because they require very little work and almost anyone can get started with one. You place a banner on your website, and the ad network does the rest – inserting an ad and paying you out for the number of views or clicks.

Earning potential: As it’s probably the easiest income stream on this list, I don’t think it’s much of a surprise that advertising networks don’t have the best earning potential. They require a lot of pageviews and it’s a lot of work to grow a blog to that size for a minimal reward. Not to mention showing ads on your sidebar might actually cause people to click away from your website if they see something that they like, so sometimes showing these ads can almost be counterproductive if you have a more profitable intention to keep them on your site.

Time to earn: With an advertising network you can start earning money right away but the amount of money might be pretty small – it all comes down to the amount of visitors you get.

Passive or active: Advertising networks are the most passive on this scale. You just install the plugin and wait to be paid! You don’t have to do any other work apart from establishing your blog and gaining traffic.

How to charge: The advertising network sets the rate. Usually there is a small commission for every view and a larger commission for every ad click. Ad network earnings are generally much smaller than you would see in any of the other options on this list but it’s usually a great way for newbie bloggers to make a little money and for bigger blogs to see some revenue. I definitely don’t recommend ad networks as your only income source but they can be a great addition.

Who is this for:

  • People who want to set it and forget it.
  • Newbie bloggers with small followings that want to start earning a bit of pocket change.
  • Anyone who is looking to make a bit of money on the side without a lot of work involved.

Pro-tip: Ad networks are not a great option for any one who is trying to make their own website sales – you don’t want to send potential buyers away to other stores on the web. You definitely want to skip these ads on your sales pages.

 

WHICH IS BEST?

 

At the end of the day, the best thing to do is to have a mix of income sources so that you can make the most money and provide the best content to your audience. And from there, you can decide how active or passive you want to be in your business. You can automate all the processes and hire people who do the heavy lifting for you, or you can be really involved. The whole point of online business is that you have the freedom to choose 😊

Now that you know your options, let’s do the math to see what type is the best for you.

Don’t forget to download that blog income calculator. I’ll be going LIVE in my free Facebook group on Tuesday to help you guys calculate exactly how long it will take to make money from your blog. Join the group so you don’t miss it!

How Long Will It Take to Make Money Blogging?