Blog Monetization Options

Photo from iheartradio.ca

Have you ever wondered how people make money from their blog? This post will break down some of the more common options (not every option) that people use to monetize their sites and earn income from blogging, as well as share some of my personal insights as to the positives/negatives to each of the options.

I will also provide some links to other resources that might help if you’re considering any of the options for your blog.

Disclaimer: I do not recommend any one option over another. If you’re looking to monetize your blog, please do research before you go ahead.

AFFILIATE MARKETING

One of the easiest options to use as a means to monetize your site, affiliate marketing is when you share an affiliate link (a link generated by said company to track useage) to a product online. If someone purchases that product using the link that you have provided you will receive a small commission from their purchasing of that good.

The biggest player in affiliate marketing in 2020 is Amazon. Read more about the Amazon affiliate program here >

You can also get affiliate links from platforms such as Uber, Hello Fresh, AirBnB and Sephora if you do some digging and contacting of companies. Affiliate marketing is something that works really well if you already use and speak of the products prior to getting an affiliate link. You’ve built a rapport with your readers, so to speak, so when you begin providing them links, they trust you’re being honest with them. Nobody wants to buy dog food from someone who’s recommending it even though they don’t own a dog.

Please note that all affiliate programs only works if people purchase the goods that you’re linking. You do not get money just for linking an item. So, you’re peddling products and giving companies free advertising without a guarantee that you’ll earn anything from it.

SELL SOMETHING

You can use your blog to sell just about anything your little heart could dream up. Whether it books, blogging courses, crafts, consultations, copywriting services, voiceover work or whatever it is that you are good at, if you think that you could turn that into income, then do so.

You will be responsible for ensuring the consumer is happy with the product(s) being provided to them, so there is some… due care required in the process.

It’s also worth noting that you do not need to purchase the premium/business WordPress account in order to sell things. You can purchase the premium/business account, but you can also use E-Transfer, Paypal or Venmo as long as you make arrangements to guarantee delivery of product or service to the consumer. Some bloggers even have their books available on Amazon and simply link to Amazon from their blog.

Please note that just because you put something for sale does not mean that it’s going to be purchased. A lot of people believe that all they have to do is acknowledge their product or service is for sale and people will run to buy it. This isn’t always the case. You should be doing market research on any product or service you’re offering prior to offering.

ADVERTISE

With respect to WordPress, if you have purchased the premium account, or higher, you have the opportunity to earn income from the ads on your website. This is not available for people who use the platform for free, nor is this available for the people who’ve purchased the personal account.

Please note that considerable traffic is required in order to even make a small amount of money using advertisements for monetization. (I used to run a corporate blog that had 50,000 hits per week, on average, and we made roughly 70 cents per day in ad revenue) Pay per click requires people to see advertisements in order to click them, and if you don’t have sizable traffic viewing your blog each day, earnings from advertisements might not even be enough to cover the fee you paid for the premium WordPress account.

PRINT ON DEMAND

Websites such as TeeSpring and Bonfire offer a service known as print-on-demand. Print-on-demand involves creators designing merchandise and marketing said merchandise to their readers/viewers. Each print-on-demand company takes a base fee off the sale of any items that are sold and will create each singular item as they are sold… hence the phrase print on demand. The company will then ship it to whomever made a purchase of said item, thus ensuring creators are not on the hook for holding stock of said items, or investing any real money into the sale of the items whatsoever.

A great Youtube channel to learn more about print-on-demand is Wholesale Ted. Sarah is a seasoned vet with print on demand creation, promotion and sales who shares her wisdom with the internet, for free, as a means to try and help others find success using the very services she makes her living from.

Please note that print-on-demand services have slowed considerably due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a lot of warehouses needing to close down to protect the employees who work for them.

SPONSORSHIP

Sponsorship looks different for every blogger. It’s dependent on companies, your traffic, your followers, your engagement and your earning potential. It’s also dependent on you reaching out to a company that you’d be interested in working with and asking them if they would be willing to sponsor a post, or a series of posts, for your blog. You have to make the first step, which is why a lot of bloggers stray away from this route.

If this is an avenue that you would like to take, networking is very important to gaining sponsorship from various companies. Introdue yourself to companies through email or LinkedIn means. Don’t just say ‘Hey, can you sponsor me?’ Wine and dine them, so to speak. Let them know what you do and what you’re good at so that when you approach the subject they’re already aware of the benefit that could be had from sponsoring content on your blog.

*Sponsorship can be monetary, or they can come in the form of being gifted products in exchange for speaking about them on your blog.

Please note that if you’re gifted any product, or being paid to talk about any products on your blog you are required to follow the guidelines of the FTC (in the United States) and/or the equivalent in your country of residence.

CEATE A PATREON ACCOUNT

Patreon is a membership platform based in the United States that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service. It allows creators and artists to earn a monthly income by providing exclusive rewards and perks to their subscribers, or “patrons”.

Whereas you are required to have a certain amount of subscribers to set up memberships on Youtube, you can set up a Patreon for free with any amount of followers on your blog, whether it’s 2 or 2 million, and ask for your blog readers to support you through becoming a Patron.

Patreon Website >

Patreon then takes a small fraction of your earnings from each month to pay their fees (staff salaries, money transfers, etc) and the remainder you can transfer out as you please.

I have a Patreon account actually introduced myself on there to people who support me through Patreon. The people who support my Patreon at the $5 level are actually listed on the ‘Supporters’ page in my blog menu.

Please note that a Patreon account might be difficult for people to contribute to during the present pandemic state the world is living in. A lot of people who might have considered supporting you and your blog prior to COVID-19 now have a much tighter hold on their spending to ensure that they make it through the next few months of not working. So, if you create a Patreon account, please keep that in mind. Everyone is struggling right now… unless you’re Bill Gates.

CHARGE FOR GUEST POSTS

If your blog is in high demand and you’re looking for a means to take advantage of that, offer people the ability to write guest posts for your blog for a small fee. It could be as little as one, two or three dollars per post. They’re getting advertisement out of being able to share their writing on your blog and you’re getting content and earning that fee.

Please note that you cannot guarantee any person a certain amount of views or followers will be gained by writing a guest post for your blog. So, if you’re charging people for guest posts, you need to ensure you’re not making false promises (that I see a lot of people make). Be real, reasonable and honest with anyone who wants to purchase a guest post for your blog – it’s an opportunity for further reach, not a guarantee.


As with any information that I provide on this blog, please do your research before taking a deep-dive into any one of these categories. Be responsible, be smart and invest your time and energy wisely to ensure that if you are going to monetize your blog, it’s going to be worthwhile.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to monetization, so please adjust any and all strategies according to you and your blog. If you have questions, leave them in the comments below and I will try to answer, or direct you to someone who can answer.

65 thoughts on “Blog Monetization Options

  1. This is very eerie: I JUST commented on your previous post about how I had thoughts about monetizing my blog, but never got around to it. This post is very useful in the various ways I could go about it– all that’s needed is to take the risk! Thanks for the information, V. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha! What’s funny is that I’ve pre-planned all these blog related posts this week. When I saw your comment about considering monetizing I thought ‘She knew what I was about to post!”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very good overview on ways to earn cash. My site is monetized but the reality is, I make just about enough to cover the cost of the page. If you market is very niche as mine is, the numbers drop accordingly. I do have a very good group of followers and blog hits through the years, but never in the range you talked about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’ve perched an important point in that a lot of monetization is dependent on having consistent traffic. If you have 700 hits one day and 200 hits the next and 2000 the next, it doesn’t help! Having consistent following does help considerably with any monetization.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My hits are increasing but doubt it will get to the point where I receive thousands a day, it’s not the market the blog is attempting to focus on.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you have to have a paid domain in order to make money? I feel like I would need to upgrade which I can’t right now.

    Also, I’m curious to know how much money you have generated from your blog…. you don’t have to answer this. I’ve seen your blog grow from a baby and am curious about what the potential could be for a baby blog like mine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You have to have a paid domain to run advertisements on your blog. Otherwise, all other options on this list are available to bloggers who use the free accounts. If monetization is something you, or any blogger is considering, just do you research. Having a paid for account is not a requirement. WordPress and other bloggers just like to make you believe it is.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for your advice, Vee. Unfortunately, I can’t buy the domain name I want until that domain is retired. I should have jumped on the opportunity but waited too long. If anything, I hope to buy a domain once I have a job and can afford it. Thank you for your insight – I found your list very helpful. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t think it would be near impossible, I just think it would be easier for you if you had a tutor who lived close to you. It might give you a headache. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I once saw a food tour in Paris that had a link for bloggers to reach out to them. I was super excited because I’M A BLOGGER! Long story short, after they reviewed my blog they deemed it worthy of a 25% discount on their tour price – providing I advertise the tour without giving “too much away” and link my post to every social media platform known to mankind – and throw in my first born as well. For 25% off their overpriced tour. Clearly I’m not a cool trendy influencer so they thought they were doing me favour to sell them my soul. My response was, “Thank you. I’ll pass on this one.” 😶

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It was. I’ve seen other bloggers post about the tour. They’re more “the type” and I’m sure they got complimentary tickets. Thanks for meangirling me, assholes.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I used TeeSpring last year to make shirts right around my bithday. It wasn’t really something I did to make money, it was more something I did because I thought it would be really cool if people other than me had the shirts I had with #MillennialLifeCrisis on them. Honestly, it was easy and really cool because people sent me pictures of themselves wearing the shirts and it made me feel really proud. Would I consider it a sustainable option for earning some form of income regularly? No.

      I used a WordPress business account in two corporate settings and we never made enough in AdRevenue to make it worthwhile. Knowing the traffic I had in those corporate blogs and knowing that this blog has nowhere near that traffic level, I wouldn’t purchase a premium or business account for ads. To me, it’s not worth it. That being said, that’s for me and other people might have completely separate opinions on the matter.

      I would consider sponsorship if I found the right opportunity and that I was really passionate about I was promoting on the blog.

      I might consider affiliate marketing in the future. I’m not closed off to the idea. It’s not something that I want to do right now. If I ever transition this blog into a business, it’s an easy add-on. But on it’s own, right now it would be more time than anything else. I also don’t really talk about a lot of products or services on this blog, so it would be weird if I just started dropping affiliate marketing links in.

      Would I sell something? Maybe. If I ever had something I deemed valuable enough to sell. I follow a lot of bloggers who are Indie Authors. Their books are a great thing to sell. Me, I’m a mediocre writer, so I’d have to consider something else.

      I don’t see myself charging for guest posts on my blog. I do see that a lot of bloggers do this, though. So it’s an option if someone wants to! Me? Probably not.

      Patreon isn’t like a ‘get rich quick’ scheme for me. It has paid one specific bill for me for the past two months, which has been a huge bonus and sigh of relief. I could probably promote it more, but I don’t really want to shove it down people’s throats, if that makes sense. Right now, the fact that it pays one bill is a pretty big deal.

      Wow, that was a long response. Sorry about that.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. No problem! It was very enlightening, and now I want one of those T-shirts. I follow a lot of what you’re saying, but I have to disagreed with you on the point that you’re not a good writer. I actually think you’re quite good at communicating with the written word, and you’re not boring. I think I have the same hesitancy as you with Patreon. I really hate asking for money, especially when I don’t technically need it. But it’s great that it’s helping you pay the bills.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you for the compliment. Most days I don’t know what I’m doing with this blog, so it’s nice to hear that I’m at least doing something right 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      3. If I didn’t appreciate what you do I wouldn’t read your blog. With most of the blogs I stumble on I only read about half of a post. I just don’t have enough time to pay attention to things I don’t appreciate, or that aren’t very good.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. People generally start blogging with the goal of making money from their blog. And a lot of people wonder how bloggers make money. Thanks for listing these blog monetization options. I like the idea of print-on-demand and have looked into that before. Maybe I’ll start reconsidering it in addition to affiliate marketing and eventually ads.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you’re considering print on demand, please do check out that youtube channel Wholesale Ted. I’ve been watching her channel for about a year and she really lays out the ins and outs to print on demand in laymans terms and is really helpful! I don’t know her. I wish I did, honestly. She seems like a wealth of knowledge it would be beneficial to know. For the time being, I just soak up the knowledge she shares. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  6. V!!! I am so pleased you followed up your last post with this one. I have been more curious about how to now monetize my blog in the best way possible for me. At the very least I should be linking my poetry book that I self published on Amazin last year at the bottom of every post. I do have plans, once I get my new laptop on Friday, to complete the manuscript for my 2nd maybe even 3rd poetry book (I have written loads of poems in one year and I have a certain number I like to work off of for a book😉) Sorry to be long winded…I really want to do this but am clueless as to how to LOL🤪 I have told you in prior post comments I am not so tech savvy but I try. I think I can figure out how to copy and paste the specific link to my book and then insert that at the bottom of each post.
    I really appreciate any advice you can offer my friend, thank you😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you’re trying to promote anything, it’s important to market it. And I use ‘market’ in a sense that you have to show people what the value is in the book before they buy the book. Do up a short paragraph about the day dreams they’ll find themselves in when they read your poetry. Or explain to them the deep pain and anger, or happiness and love that your poetry comes from (wherever it comes from). Give people a reason to connect with it before they’ve even purchased it.

      I absolutely think that sharing your book on your blog can be of a benefit for you. Just don’t get discouraged if you don’t make immediate sales, or if you don’t make a ton of sales. Due to the pandemic and millions of people being out of work, people have gotten a lot more careful about what they spend their money on. So go into it with a long term goal – sharing one book, and eventually your second and your third… perhaps one day marketing an anthology of poetry books. If you seek instant gratification through sales, it may not come… just due to the present state of the world. Hope that makes sense!

      Like

      1. Yes, that makes perfect sense. I sincerely appreciate your input. As I said, I didn’t go into this for any monetary gain. I have always maintained that if I can help one person feel less alone in their pain than I’m happy.

        Yes this pandemic is why I thought of trying to market my book more, just because i have the time. I do understand that most are having to alter their spending habits in light of it however. All good points my friend, thank you!😊

        Liked by 1 person

      1. She’s a fantastic communicator. That’s what makes her able to break anything down and make it easy to follow. It’s a rare gift and I think she’s a lot more talented than she gives herself credit for.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! I don’t think I ever would. At least not general guidance given to the masses. People have to take this general guidance and work it in their favour, so they have to do the majority of the work with any advice given.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I like that attitude, it’s a pay it forward kinda thing as well. If they learn and grow from your advice, they should pass on knowledge and tips too. Hope you’re well and coping okay with the lockdown.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! I didn’t know about Print on Demand, but I’ll have to check it out – it might be fun to do sometime (also, I kind of want a #millenniallifecrisis t-shirt).

    I do have an Amazon affiliate account, since I do book reviews – and have made $9 in the past year. The goal was to make enough to cover the cost of the domain name…so…maybe next year? Ha! Blogging is definitely not the way to riches and fame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To anyone who does make a decent income from blogging, it might have taken them 5-10 years to get there. So it’s definitely something that takes investment and time and effort. That being said, $9 from Amazon affiliates is a good deal!

      As for the shirts, they might appear on my birthday again. Who knows? It was fun seeing other people wear the shirts. I LOVE them. I think they’re so cute. so we’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think the main thing that annoys me about people trying to monetise their blogs, is their tendency to follow huge numbers of people, and like huge numbers of posts, without interacting with them in any way, shape, or form.

    Like

  9. I love this and have been wanting to sell T-shirt’s some day but had no idea how to do it. I’m going to check out the print on demand…that sounds like a great start to maybe establishing something more. Your advice truly helps me. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TeeSpring was actually funded by a sizable investment by Ashton Kutcher. It’s a very easy platform to use and the prices they take from products are very reasonable, so if you have a following, or can make trendy products and now how to promote them, you could make decent profits. I wish you good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am currently using the sponsorship method. I was given a link to a woman run networking platform. I’m getting ready to start my first campaign. I’m excited to see where the network will take me, If anywhere. It is a 30 day traffic challenge, so if i get nothing else from ot maybe I will at least learn something useful. Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome to the blogosphere! I hope you grow to love this place. Check out the marketing tab on my blog and there’s answers to lots of other questions there as well, if you’re looking for a good resource.

      Liked by 2 people

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