07 Jun 2019
Perhaps you’ve been writing your own blog for a while now. It may have been the easiest way to connect with friends and family during your travels overseas. Or maybe writing a tech or fashion blog was your outlet to sharing the fruits of your labour including hours of painstaking research and trial runs. Better yet, you might even be looking for a solution to your working 9 to 5, and instead, dream of making money from under a palm tree somewhere else in the world.
Whatever your starting point, monetizing your blog and creating revenue from your website can open up a future of possibilities for you and your interests. We’ll give you the short and long of all the options available to you so you can start profiting from your blog.
Options for Making Money Blogging:
- Advertising Sales
- Direct/Private Ads
- Advertising Networks
- Sponsored Reviews & Paid Posts
- Affiliate Marketing
- Product Sales
- Membership Sales
- Email Marketing
Let’s dive in to discover how and where each of these options fit in to your blog.
Selling advertising space on a site is one of the leading advertising options for mainstream and popular blogs. You’ve usually seen these types of ads as a banner in the header or sidebar of a blog. Blog owners usually charge advertisers in two ways: as a CPC (cost per click) ad or a CPM (cost per thousand) ad.
- CPC Ads: Cost Per Click (or PPC – pay per click) ads works as a fixed fee. So wherever they appear on your blog, whenever a reader clicks on that ad, you are paid for that click.
- CPM Ads: Cost Per Thousand (or cost per thousand/mille impressions) ads work based on how many people view your ad. For example, a CPM of $4 means that you get paid $4 for every 1000 views of an advertisement.
Direct/Private vs. Advertising Networks
There are two ways you can advertise with companies and businesses: direct/privately, or via advertising networks.
- Direct: Selling advertisements directly cuts out the middle man, allowing you to set your own ad rates, and keep all of the ad sales revenue. You may be approached by companies or you may contact advertisers yourself to write sponsored posts or reviews, selling ads in the form of banners, buttons, or links, and even sell space on your email newsletters, podcasts, or videos.
- Advertising Networks: Selling advertisements through an ad network, like the most popular Google AdSense, works by connecting and matching your blog to advertisers looking to display their ads on specific websites. Other popular ad networks for bloggers include BlogHer, PropellerAds, and Media.net.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular and easiest ways to monetize your blog. Most online stores and businesses run affiliate programs that pay you a commission anytime someone clicks your link or uses your promo code to purchase a product. Don’t forget to employ best business practices and disclose to your visitors that some of the links they will click on are that of affiliates.
If you’re interested in setting up a blog that displays your Amazon Associates affiliate links in an elegant way, definitely check out our blog post about that. There are plenty of other great affiliate programs out there that you can incorporate onto your site when posting reviews, sharing your favourite travel destinations, or creating a gift lists. A few include TripAdvisor, Target, HubSpot, and we have one here at Themify as well.
This one is pretty straightforward. You can sell digital or physical products to help supplement your income. However trust from your visitors and readers is built slowly and can be lost swiftly. Make sure what you are selling makes sense with your audience and are things you can stand behind. You might also find helpful this list of 20 free plugins for WooCommerce that take your eCommerce shop one step further.
They include items like the following:
- Online courses or in-depth guides (10-day workout or healthy recipe guide)
- Services (freelancing or consultation work, web design, graphic design, writing or editing)
- Hardcopy books or eBooks
- T-shirts and accessories
- Apps, plugins, or themes
Another way to scale your website’s profitability is by creating premium content or a Members-Only area on your site where you can charge visitors to access your best stuff. Many blogs create an income by selling premium content and by charging members, for example monthly or yearly subscriptions.
For example, a lifestyle blog might charge readers $10 a month to access behind-the-scenes photos of their latest event, travel, or party. Whatever you are allowing special access to, make sure it is indeed special, and not something that can just be found for free on another corner of the internet. See how you can turn your WordPress blog into a membership site using our tutorial.
Even if it is day 1 of your blog’s life online, make sure you start collecting emails from your visitors. Your email database’s growth can be improved by providing those who sign up with an incentive.
Examples of email newsletter signup incentives include:
- 10% off your next purchase
- Receive an in-depth (sports, tech, travel) guide for free
- Get free shipping on your first order
- First access to new content and new products
Lightbox popups are one of the best ways to get a visitor’s attention to sign up. Themify’s Popup plugin is a great, free WordPress plugin you can use to showcase newsletter subscription forms on your site from a variety of styles. Once you’ve collected your emails, sending newsletters consistently that are well balanced in content and frequency are a great way of increasing the traffic flowing to your site.
Pairing these advertising options and techniques with great quality content are sure to eventually increase the flow of your ad revenue. Don’t forget to remember what it used to be like as a visitor and reader. If you feel like someone was only writing a piece to sell something, then they’ve already lost the reader, not just from an advertising standpoint, but as a regular visitor of your site.
Don’t compromise your website or your content for an ad sale because although you might receive a short term return, it might actually deteriorate your long term success. And finally, be persistent. You may not see results straight-away, but you’ll find your own niche and audience on the internet interested in what you have to say.
If you’re looking for more inspiration to grow your blog or start your next WordPress venture, don’t forget to check out our new WordPress Heroes stories and start dreaming big.