Do bloggers make money? Yes they do. But they don't get a traditional paycheck. A blogger will receive income from a lot of different sources. This is typically how they do it.
5 Income Sources for Bloggers
When you are an independent blogger you don't have an employer.
Rather you are the boss of your own blogging business.
This means that you have to get creative with how you make money.
But no matter how you do it, it all boils down to five basic income streams.
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- Advertising income
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
- Selling Your Own Products
- Offering Your Own Services
1. How Bloggers Make Money With Ad Networks
One of the most passive ways to make money blogging is by displaying ads on your blog.
In the olden days of blogging, brands would buy advertising space directly from bloggers.
But these days that is almost unheard of.
There is a lot of technical complexity surrounding display advertising that a solo blogger cannot manage.
Most bloggers now will join something called an ad network.
These ad networks act as a middleman between bloggers and brands and sell advertising space on behalf of the bloggers.
Typically bloggers get paid from ad networks based on the number of impressions each ad gets – so traffic is important to make money with ads.
More pageviews means more money.
Here are some ad networks that are popular with bloggers (keep in mind that many of these have traffic thresholds that you must meet before you can apply):
- Mediavine (this is the one that I use on my Almost Practical site – they are awesome!)
- Google Adsense
2. How Do Bloggers Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?
Another popular income stream for bloggers is affiliate marketing.
When a blogger mentions a product in blog post, they often create a link to the online store where you can actually buy the product.
This link is not just any old link – it is usually some type of affiliate link.
What this means is that there is a special tracking code embedded in the link.
If a reader clicks the link through to the shopping site and makes a purchase, then the blogger will make a commission.
These affiliate links are managed by the shopping sites that offer the commission.
They either offer their own affiliate programs or are part of an affiliate network.
Bloggers need to apply to each program or network individually and generate the links using that platform.
This Affiliate Program Directory contains a list of many popular affiliate programs and how to join them, organized by niche.
Blog traffic is also important to make money with affiliate marketing.
It also helps if you have a tight blogging niche and talk about products that are very relevant to your readers.
The blogging course – Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – is a great resource if you want to learn more about how to make money blogging with this revenue stream.
3. How Bloggers Make Money With Sponsored Posts
Big brands want people to know about their products.
One way that they get the word out there is to hire bloggers to write sponsored posts.
A sponsored post usually involves the company sending the blogger product for review as a well as a piece of fixed compensation in exchange for writing a blog post and a set amount of social media shares.
You can either pursue sponsored post opportunities directly with brands or work with companies that work as a matchmaker of sorts.
Some companies that bloggers use are:
Of course you are obligated to keep your end of the bargain.
As with affiliate marketing, with sponsored posts you must disclose your paid relationship with the advertiser so as not to mislead your readers.
Here are some of the ones that I have done in the past:
- Toss the Tube with Scott Brand Toilet Paper
- Unlock Your Full Potential with Free Personality Tests
- How to Create Family Time at Dinner Without the Chaos
- 5 401k Mistakes You Could Be Making Right Now
- Follow the Open Road Fuel For Wherever Life Takes You
4. How To Make Money Selling Your Own Products
By far I have seen (from bloggers that publish their income reports) that selling your own product is one of the more lucrative avenues to make money blogging.
You can create an info product at just a fraction of the cost of a physical product.
If you have a large audience or a large network that can help you promote your product then it's a great thing.
Your product or service could be an e-course, an ebook, or even a downloadable item.
By offering your own product, you get to keep most of the profits.
Some platforms that people use to build info products are:
5. How to Make Money Selling Your Services
Lots of bloggers make money by selling their time – coaching, consulting, and speaking engagements – can all help with the bottom line.
If you plan to offer services on your blog, you can either package them up into a program or offer hourly help.
Either way, create a page on your blog that explains in detail what it is that you do.
Getting Blog Traffic is Key
At this point, it may sound like it is really easy to make money with a blog but you can't make money if you don't have website traffic.
Building your audience and the trust with your audience is the first step you need to take as a blogger.
Once you get the momentum going you can monetize that traffic through ad networks, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, selling your own products and services, and even doing paid speaking engagements.
The sky is the limit!
How Do You Make Money With Your Blog?
If you have a blog – how do you turn a profit?
What revenue stream has been the most successful for you?
Let me know in the comments below.