How exactly do bloggers get paid? Here are 18 ways to get paid as a blogger.
In 2012, I stumbled on blogging as a way to earn an income and I am here to tell you that making money with a blog is very real.
My first blog Myonlinebizjourney.com (I no longer blog there) opened up so many doors for me financially and I am going to share some of that in this post with you.
Will you make millions overnight blogging?
It takes more than buying a domain and writing random thoughts on the internet.
Getting paid as a blogger takes work and business strategy.
It is possible to make money as a blogger but you have to start off thinking of it as a business in order for you to make money.
I’ve had the honor of experiencing making money as a blogger over the last 6 years.
In this post, I am going to share 18 proven ways to make money as a blogger.
The first 7 on this list are all ways I have made money. And the others are the ways I have seen friends and acquaintances make money blogging.
Ready? Let’s go.
18 Proven ways to get paid as a blogger
Sponsorships are sometimes called brand deals and these can be a wonderful way to make money as a blogger even if you’re new.
The idea of a sponsorship or brand deal is this – companies need to advertise their products.
In 2020, influencer marketing – or marketing that depends on individuals sharing their experiences using a product with their audience – is huge.
In fact, according to a report by The Digital Marketing Institute, 49% of consumers depend on recommendations of influencers.
Another study found that for every $1 a company spends on influencer marketing, they make $6.50 back!
Let’s do the math – that means if a company pays you $100 for a sponsored blog post, on average, they will make $650 back.
Those are incredible margins and companies know this.
Therefore, they have money dedicated to paying bloggers like you to review and feature their products and services.
This is where you come in.
As a blogger with a small yet dedicated readership, you could get paid to review and talk about products.
There are two ways this could happen.
- You can wait for companies to notice you and come asking you to talk about their product.
- Or you can reach out to companies for sponsorships.
I typically have had companies coming to me for sponsorships primarily because this is not the main way I choose to make money.
However, I have gotten paid as much as $1200 for a sponsorship and so I know it works.
Words of caution about sponsorships
- Make sure you are representing a brand that you believe in and which aligns with your values as a business owner. Yes, as a blogger, you are a business owner and there are people who like and trust you. If you partner with a brand that has a shady product or horrible customer service, you could lose the trust of your readers.
- Ask to be paid. When you are starting out, it is easy to get excited about receiving free products to review for companies. You can do this once or twice if this is a product you really wanted anyway. Products and software do cost money so getting free products is one way of being compensated. However, you will also learn quickly that free products do not pay the bills. They don’t put gas in your car and I am very sure you will be thrown out of your local grocery store for trying to pay for groceries with free products! And so, if you do come across a brand you would like to work with, ask to be paid. Some will say yes and others will say no. You spend precious time creating blog content. It is okay to want to get paid.
Affiliate marketing can work well for new bloggers as well.
You recommend a product you love using a special affiliate link, someone clicks through that link and buys the product and you are paid a commission.
You can seamlessly weave affiliate marketing links into your content starting from the first day you start blogging.
When it comes to learning how to dominate as an affiliate marketer, a course I highly recommend is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing was worth every penny for me.
If you would like to learn the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and do it right from the start, you should take the course ASAP.
You can check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing here. (This is my affiliate link. See how I did that?)
I’ve made money on Google Adsense and Media.net.
Both of these are Advertising Networks that don’t require you to have a traffic limit to sign up for.
Ad networks like AdThrive and Mediavine do require you have have 100,000 monthly page views and 50,000 monthly page views respectively to be approved for their programs.
However, I must say, if you have low traffic, it is a slow burn trying to make money with Google Adsense for instance.
If you can get your traffic up to 10,000 monthly page views, ad networks can be worth it.
Offer your freelance services
If you are a freelance writer, a web designer, a social media manager, tax preparer or offer any other type of service, you can offer this via your blog as well.
In fact, this is how I started making more than $1000 per month with my blog back in 2015 with less than 5000 visits to my blog at the time.
So whatever service you provide, create a page for it on your blog and let people know you are open for business.
Offer coaching services
A blog can be an excellent way for people to find out about your coaching services.
Whether you’re a life coach, writing coach like me, or health coach – your blog can become a stream of ideal clients for your business.
The key here is to create content on questions your clients have.
If you are a health coach for instance, there are likely at least 10-20 questions clients ask you all the time.
You can create content around those and then offer to be their health coach if they find that you’re a fit.
I’ve always seen online courses as a way to take your information further for those readers who would like to learn more about your topic or go deeper than the free content.
If you sell a course for $97 and 10 people buy it per month, that is $970 each month from courses.
Not too bad!
This is a personal favorite of mine.
As a writer, selling eBooks is a natural way for me to make money.
And you can do the same.
Just like courses, there are times when your audience will want to learn more and take the content you are giving them further. You can do this through eBooks.
- Amazon Kindle because it is a large marketplace and if you can optimize your book well for the right categories and keywords, you can sell books fairly passively. I don’t like Amazon Kindle however because they do not give you statistics about your book. Stats like how many people have viewed your book vs how many people clicked and bought the book are not available to you.
- Gumroad on the other hand gives you this information and to be honest, uploading eBooks onto their platform is WAY easier than Amazon.
So there are pros and cons to both platforms.
But the bottom-line is: eBooks are a fantastic way to make money from your blog.
Sell digital products
Technically, courses and eBooks are digital products.
But these are not the only types of digital products you can create.
Other types of digital products you can create include:
- Digital planner sheets
- Social media templates
- Pre-populated Excel spreadsheets
- Stock photos
Sell physical products
You can also tie an e-commerce business to your blog.
I have seen everything from T-shirts to coffee sold through a blog.
Don’t limit your imagination of what you can sell through your blog…as long as it aligns with your message.
If you’re an expert at something – social media, sales, marketing, how to use an Excel spreadsheet – you can offer paid workshops to your audience.
A workshop means exactly what it sounds like.
It is a virtual event where you will be working directly with your attendees to come up with a tangible solution to a problem.
My friend LaTrice Huff is a Human Resources consultant who does this very well.
People will pay $97-$197/person for her two-hour workshops. During these workshops, she teaches women how to structure their resumes and personal brands for six-figure jobs.
If you host this kind of workshop for 10 people, you’re making around $1000-$2000 per workshop.
Your attendees walk away with valuable and tangible results and you got paid!
Webinars are different from workshops in the sense that with a webinar, you are simply providing highly valuable information to your attendees.
You typically don’t need the hands-on involvement required with a workshop.
Nonetheless, you teach your attendees information and give them tools they can use to solve a particular problem.
Create an event around your message
I have seen people like Pat Flynn, Michael Hyatt and Maya Elious turn what started as a blog into real-life events.
You can do this too when you have grown an audience that would benefit from that in-person connection with you.
This is definitely a more advanced way to get paid and will require a higher level of investment.
Use your blog to land speaking opportunities
Are you a speaker or someone who would like to break into speaking?
If you blog on a topic in a specific niche, it is possible for you to build authority in that niche quickly simply because you have a blog on the topic.
If you intend to use your blog for speaking opportunities, I would also consider creating YouTube videos. Video gives people a feel for how you speak.
In any case, you can leverage your blog as proof of authority in that niche and land speaking opportunities because of it.
Create a job marketplace
Darren Rowse of Problogger has one of the longest standing job marketplace for writers. It’s been around for at least ten years.
The job board is free for freelance writers who are looking for their next gig.
But for the posters of these jobs, it costs $70 to post a gig.
The Problogger job board has between 3-10 new jobs posted on the board everyday.
That is 90-300 new jobs posted per month on their job board.
You do the math!
The membership and subscription model of business has been around for more than 100 years.
You can take advantage of it as a blogger.
You can make money through monthly subscriptions to newsletters or a course membership where you drip out content monthly.
An obvious advantage membership programs is the fact that you will get paid each month. So if you wanted a recurring pathway to making money, this is excellent.
Develop and sell software/apps
The last three ways to get paid as a blogger are dedicated to all my tech-savvy friends out there.
Your skills are valuable and people are waiting to pay you too create software and apps that make our lives easier!
You can use your blog to market and sell your software and apps.
Develop and sell premium WordPress plugins
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world.
If you can design and develop premium WordPress plugins (I wish I had this skill!), you can sell those through your blog as well.
Develop and sell WordPress Themes
If you’re tech-savvy and you can create WordPress Themes, you can sell themes through your blog. Fellow blogger Tiffany from Beautiful Dawn Designs sells WordPress Themes on her blog.
And so, it is possible to make money as a blogger.
But, it will not happen overnight.
To make the money as a blogger, you will have to build a hungry audience of buyers starting with the first day you start your blog.
Thus, if you master the art of building that audience and you can use any of these 18 ways to get paid as a blogger.
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