10 Ways Bloggers Make Money (1)

10 Ways Bloggers Make Money

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It wasn’t all that long ago when bloggers were perceived as geeky people who had nothing to do with their weekend but write down their thoughts. Then something crazy happened. Bloggers started making money, lots of money!

Not only are bloggers making a lot of money these days, but some are even celebrities in their own right. All of this has meant that more and more people are wondering if they too could be a blogger. But how exactly do bloggers make money and could you do it too?

I’ve earned a decent amount of money as a blogger for a good few years now, so I can say with authority that it can be done. But be under no illusion, it’s not easy. It may look like bloggers just swan around fancy restaurants and fashion shows, taking a few pictures and getting paid for it, but for most bloggers the reality is much different.

Yes bloggers do get to have a lot of fun, especially if you pick the right niche. Behind the scenes, however, they work really hard too. Honest!

The above being said, I’ve found blogging to be a fun and rewarding venture and the fact that I’ve been able to make money on the side too, well that has just been the icing on the cake.

Anyway, enough of my rambling, you’re here to learn how bloggers make money! Here are 10 popular ways bloggers make a living.

Google Adsense

If you’re a newbie to the blogging scene and thinking about how bloggers make money, the first thing that might come to mind are those flashy ads you see popping up on pretty much every website you visit. While there are lots of different ad networks out there – some of which might make you more money – the most popular one and the most accessible to newbie bloggers is probably Google Adsense.

To be able to sign up and use Google Adsense you will need to own your own website. This will require you to get your own domain name and hosting package*. Don’t worry, it’s not very expensive. Your blog will also need to be active and not under construction. You will need to be over 18 years of age and in some territories Google may require that your site has been active for at least 6 months.

Things to consider before you sign up – As a newbie blogger it would be wise to think carefully before you place ads of any kind on your blog and this includes Google Adsense.

While having ads on a blog can sometimes be a positive – in that it can add a bit of legitimacy to your site and give it a look of authority – it also has the potential to put readers off. Some people hate seeing ads on a blog, especially if they are badly implemented or if they think that you are only in it for the money.

Some bloggers choose to build their readership and reputation first before placing ads on their site, while others choose to include them from the start. Other bloggers never include these type of ads at all, as they prefer other methods of making money. It really is up to you but it’s worth doing more research on the subject before you make your decision.

Affiliate Marketing

Another way bloggers make money is through affiliate marketing. What is affiliate marketing, I hear you ask. The best way I can describe affiliate marketing is that it is the activity of selling other people’s stuff.

Let’s say you start a fashion blog, for example, and you are reviewing a new pair of shoes. If your reader decides that they like the product, then they are probably going to want to know where they can buy it online. This is where you could use what is known as an affiliate link. You can link to a retailer who sells the product you are reviewing and if they buy it after using your link, you will get a commission from the retailer for sending the customer to them. It’s not just products you can link to either, you can also link to service providers or even online courses that have been created by other bloggers.

How to start affiliate marketing – To make money as an affiliate marketer you will again need to have an active blog and you will need to sign up with some affiliate networks.

Most bloggers probably start off by signing up to the Amazon* affiliate program, due to it being one of the most well-known shopping websites in the world. If you want to link to other retailers, though, then you will need to look at other popular networks such as Awin, TradeDoubler, Webgains, Impact Radius and others. Once signed up to these networks you will also have to apply individually to each retailer for approval on their program.

If this sounds like a lot of hassle to you at this point in your journey, then you could check out a network like Skimlinks*. Skimlinks are a massive affiliate network who host programs from various other affiliate networks. If you are accepted to the Skimlinks program then you will be automatically approved to promote any of the retailers that are signed up with Skimlinks, and there are a lot of big name companies to choose from. There is a catch for being pre-approved, however, and that is that Skimlinks will take 25% of the commission you earn.

Sponsored Posts

Many bloggers also make money by allowing sponsored posts on their blog. Sponsored posts are posts that a blogger has either been paid to write or paid to upload to their blog if written by a third party. Payments can come in the form of cash or as a freebie sent to you by a company.

As a blog’s readership and authority grows, most bloggers will start to receive requests from brands asking for sponsored posts. If you blog in a certain niche then this can be particularly attractive to brands, as it means that they can market directly to their target audience and use the bloggers authority in the niche to increase the appeal of their product or service.

Money to be made, but be careful – While there is a lot of money to be made hosting sponsored content on your blog, there are some things you need to be careful with too.

Firstly, advertising laws have really tightened up in recent years and there are rules you will need to follow when sending out a sponsored post to your readers. These rules will vary from country to country, so make sure that you know what the laws are where you live.

Secondly, it’s important that you don’t compromise the integrity of your blog just to make a bit of money. As a blogger, you will want to ensure that your readers have trust in what you say. While the money being offered to post sponsored content might be attractive, if you don’t really believe in what’s being said in the post, then accepting the post could damage your blog’s credibility.

Finally, it’s not just the authorities who have rules regarding how sponsored content should be presented to your readers, Google do too. Google are far and away the biggest search engine in the world and if you want your blog to be really successful, then there’s a good chance you’re going to need their help. With this in mind it’s going to be important that you stick to their guidelines when posting sponsored content or you may find that your blog ranks poorly in their search results.

YouTube

YouTube can be a great extra revenue stream for bloggers who don’t mind being in front of the camera. Firstly, you could turn some of your amazing written blog content into Vlogs. You could also use the platform to review some of your favourite products. If you’re extremely good at video editing then you might also be able to create some educational videos that are relevant to your niche.

Cartoon man holding YouTube logo

You may have noticed recently that Google’s search results include more and more YouTube videos, and they also seem to be appearing higher in the results. The good news is that there is money to be made if you can appear in these results or in YouTube’s own search results. To make money from YouTube you will need to link your Adsense account with your YouTube account and then set up monetisation on your videos.

It’s worth mentioning here that YouTube recently changed things so that only publishers with a certain amount of views or followers will actually get paid. This means it may take a while for you to start receiving revenue from your videos but it may well be worth the effort in the long run.

Paid Social Media Posts

While bloggers make a lot of money by promoting products on their own blog, they can also make money promoting on their social media accounts too. There are a few of ways that this can be done but as we stressed earlier in the section about sponsored posts, be sure to follow the advertising laws in your country. You’ll also need to follow the rules of the social network you are advertising on.

The first way you can make money from your social accounts such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is when you’re paid by a company to mention their product or service. A quick mention of a brand on a well-followed Instagram account could mean big sales for a company, so it’s not surprising they might be willing to pay for this kind of exposure.

Another way you could make money from your social account is via our old friend affiliate marketing. Many affiliate networks now allow you to create affiliate links in a short link form that you can share on your social media networks. If someone buys a product you mentioned via one of these links, then you will get a commission. Happy days.

Freelancing

Some bloggers out there are also earning a fortune freelance writing for other more established websites or blogs. There are at least two reasons why bloggers can earn so much money doing this.

The first reason is that successful bloggers are usually very good writers too. I’m not meaning that they have a degree in English or anything like that – though it probably wouldn’t hurt – but more that they have a way of connecting with an audience via the written word. This is likely why they managed to build a successful blog in the first place. Great writers are not easy to come by so when they do come along, companies are willing to pay them for their talents.

The second reason they might be willing to pay a blogger to write for them is because the blogger might also bring their blog readership along with them. If you love a certain blogger then you’d be more than happy to read their posts on another site, right? In fact, you might even go out of your way to do so.

Bloggers with a good following and who are talented writers can therefore earn a lot of money writing for other more well established websites.  

Publishing a Book

Another way a blogger can use their writing ability to make even more money is by writing a book. This might be in the form of an ebook which you can sell on Amazon – here’s mine* – or a blogger may even be fortunate enough to get a book publishing deal. Either way there is money to be made for a blogger if they take the time to write and publish a book or ebook.

Creating an Online Course

I know a few bloggers who have made a small fortune by creating an online course for people to sign up to. The course will usually be related to the niche in which they blog or it could be a course about how they made a success of their own blog.

Once you’ve created an online course, you can then make money when people sign up for it. On top of this, you could also get some of your blogger friends to promote the course for you and pay them a commission, effectively making it a win-win for both of you.

Creating a Product or Brand

As well as promoting other people’s stuff some bloggers have also gone one step further by creating their own products and merchandise to sell. Once they have created some relevant products a blogger can then sell these via their own website or by linking to a shop they have on another e-commerce site.

Woman selling craft products on her blog

If we use fashion as an example again, It’s easy to see how a fashion blogger could eventually set up their own label if they have a big enough following, especially as they will already have a great idea of the sort of clothing or accessories their readers might want to buy.

Ad Networks

Once a blogger has built up a substantial amount of monthly traffic, they can often make extra money by switching from Adsense to another ad network. The chosen network can then work more closely with the blogger to help them get the most ad revenue from their blog traffic.

How Much Could You Make?

As we can see from this post there are many different ways that bloggers make money. I personally know of bloggers who are making hundreds of thousands of pounds each year and my own income is growing nicely too. If you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog then I would really recommend it as a great way to earn a side income. You just need to secure your domain name/hosting* and who knows, you may be one of those earning millions from your blog in the years to come.

Are you a blogger? What’s your most profitable revenue stream?

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