Have you investigated the notion of starting your own blog as a way of making a second (or first!) income? It looks like the perfect solution – you can work from home when you like, writing about things that you love, but what are the ways to make money on a blog?
There are many! The first and most important thing to acknowledge is that it takes time. Even if you are the best and most prolific writer ever, you are unlikely to get much traffic to your website in the first six months.
If you are not put off by this, read on!
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Confession – I am a tad biased when it comes to affiliate marketing. The sheer simplicity of it makes it an absolute winner for me but it’s not for everyone.
What is it? It is where you promote a product that you did not create, you don’t hold any stock or handle customer service or returns.
All you have to do is write about relevant topics that your audience finds engaging and interesting. You then promote the product or products as a solution to the problem that your audience has.
The keys to making a success of affiliate marketing are:
- Finding a profitable niche
- Writing engaging content
- Learning how to generate traffic to your website
- Learning how to promote your content
If this is the route you want to go down, check out my review of the best training platform for getting started.
Sell your own products
Perhaps you already have your own product that you have been selling to friends and family, at car boot sales, via social media or maybe you even have your own Etsy or Shopify store.
You can absolutely use a blog to link your products and/or store. There is so much scope with your own blog. You can put your own customer reviews and share insights into how your product is made and to your own story.
What makes your product unique, what problem does it solve, how will it make the purchaser feel? This is your platform. When you know who your customer is you will be able to craft articles to specifically target their problems and provide a solution.
Don’t worry if you don’t already have an e-commerce store. You can simply set up your own WordPress site and add the WooCommerce plugin. This is a great solution if you don’t already have an online store as you can combine your blog posts with your sales platform.
Sell your own courses
Do you have the expertise that people will pay to learn? The beauty of selling your own courses online is that you only need to create the course once, then you can sell it over and over and over again.
If you need to update it, you can certainly do that (especially if digital marketing is your skill!), however, subjects like languages and mathematics are unlikely to change too often with the passing of time.
As your might imagine, there are some innovative software options to create your course. I found some really interesting information about these at zapier.com.
This is a popular method of monetizing a blog for many, especially those who don’t have such good opportunities with affiliate marketing, for example, food bloggers. However, if you get a good amount of traffic, this can be very lucrative.
Google Adsense is very popular as you can get started regardless of how many visitors you have to your website. You won’t make much money but you can still make some. However, some ads (I find) are in locations that really spoil the flow of your blog posts.
Also, some are very ugly! I find myself navigating away from blogs that have a particular ad for ear wax removal. Yuk!
An alternative advertiser, Mediavine, pays considerably more and their ad positioning is much nicer. You need 50,000 sessions per month to apply but that is a great incentive to keep working on your SEO activities.
Another option is sponsored ads. Again, you will need to have a considerable number of visitors but once you do, you can approach one or two relevant companies that would genuinely benefit from your audience and vice versa.
If the thought of having ads on your site turns you off, there is always the option of sponsored posts. This is where you write content that features a particular brand.
It can be in the form of a review or just a post that fits in with the other content on your blog.
Just make sure that you disclose that it is a sponsored post (although it is a good idea to mention that you only promote products and services that will genuinely add value to your followers which should indeed be the case).
Create (or buy) and sell websites
This is such an interesting way to make money from a blog that I was completely ignorant of until very recently.
Once you have a blog that is generating steady revenue (even if it’s not a lot), there are people who are prepared to buy it. Better still if it makes significant money or has a large number of visitors.
I am a member of a training platform where the community shares their success stories.
There’s a young guy who wrote a post about having sold one website for $40,000 only having started it 9 months earlier and paid off his student debt. Now he knows how to do it, he can just rinse and repeat which is absolutely priceless.
I should add that it is unusual to be making such significant money in such a short space of time but to find out what his method is, check out his post here.
Have a look at the sorts of websites that are currently on the market at Flippa.com. It is quite an eye-opener!
Should I do all the above?
Absolutely not! It would be best to focus on one thing initially, then consider ads when you have a good number of page views. In the end, if you do a brilliant job of it, you too could sell your website for $40,000 or significantly more!
Having said that, if you have a website consistently bringing in a good monthly income, you might be better just continuing to grow it and take the money. (Although I can see how attractive it could be to take the big money and start from scratch again.)
Naturally, all of these methods require that you first create a website. Don’t worry if you have never done this. Check out how to go about it here.
If you are already making money from your blog, I would love to hear about which method is working for you in the comments.