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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.