You probably have heard that blogging is dead. Is that true? Do bloggers make money? Today, I am going to answer this question to help decide if you want to launch your own blog.
Do Bloggers Make Money?
Of course, I am pretty sure the answer to the question Do bloggers make money? varies depending on who you ask. Lots of bloggers don’t make money. However, I am confident that any blogger CAN make money. Why? Well, because I was able to make money on two blogs that are in competitive niches (my health and wellness blog as well as this one). if I can do it, I don’t see why anyone else couldn’t.
Websites That Make Money
I recently wrote a post entitled 10 Websites That Make Money. That’s a minuscule sample of bloggers who make money, Dale, a six-figure blogger, compiled a more exhaustive list of blog income reports (200+). Making money with a blog is not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of HOW.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
How do bloggers make money? There are multiple ways to make money as a blogger. However, for any monetization strategy to work, you need blog traffic. Working on increasing your blog traffic is an art that requires some SEO knowledge as well as some Pinterest marketing. In fact, I earn a stable monthly income through my health and wellness blog, which has ten times as much traffic as this one. My marketing blog, which I neglected as I was implementing various strategies on my other blog is not bringing in money every month. Driving traffic is super important. It takes time, consistency, and perseverance.
Learn more about starting a successful blog by watching my 30-Minute Niche Site Workshop.
For now, let’s focus on the five main ways bloggers get paid: affiliate marketing, ads, digital products, sponsored posts, and services.
Affiliate marketing is the number one monetization strategy I recommend for new bloggers. It helps you test the waters and see what your audience wants to buy. For about a year, my only monetization strategy on my health and wellness blog was selling supplements. In fact, it wasn’t exactly affiliate marketing because my products are produced and distributed by a network marketing company. However, I have been marketing them the same way you would market affiliate products. That’s an option you can try too.
Affiliate products can be digital or physical. While I sell supplements on my fitness blog, my first sales on this blog were from affiliate commissions for digital courses.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
When you sell affiliate products, whether physical or digital, you are only responsible for bringing traffic to the offer you are promoting. Everything else is handled by the affiliate company. You won’t have to worry about setting up a check-out and product delivery system. You bring traffic and get paid a commission on the sale of the product, it’s that simple! Sometimes, companies have their own affiliate program, sometimes they work via an affiliate marketing network.
Affiliate Marketing Networks
Joining an affiliate marketing network is a fast and easy way to find affiliate products. My favorite affiliate network is ShareASale. The reason I like it is I find the products and sales pages are very diverse, yet don’t feel scammy. Here are some other affiliate marketing networks you may consider:
- Amazon Associates – You can find anything on Amazon, so it’s an excellent affilaite option for any niche! Just make sure you have decent traffic to your site before you sign up because you need to make three sales in 180 days for your account to remain active.
- Clickbank – Mostly digital products in all possible niches. After creating your account, click on Marketplace and select your categories.
- Rakuten – Over 90,000 products to choose from and tons of digital products and services.
Read my post How to Find Affiliate Programs In Your Niche in 3 Simple Steps to learn exactly how to find affiliate programs in your niche.
Why Affiliate Marketing
As I mentioned already, affiliate marketing is a low-risk monetization strategy that can benefit any blogger. Furthermore, it’s a strategy that can result and a sizeable income even if you don’t have much blog traffic yet. Increasing your blog traffic ensures a stable income, but you will start making affiliate sales fairly early on without much blog traffic. I had fewer than 1,000 pageviews a month when I made my first $300 commission on this blog! On my health and wellness, I started making affiliate sales when I had about 4,000 pageviews a month. With ads (our next monetization strategy), you need at least 10,000 pageviews a month to make less than $100 a month!
How to Promote Affiliate Products
There are many ways to promote affiliate products. Obviously, the methods you employ will vary depending on what you sell. For example, one of the products I sell most on my health and wellness blog is a superfood shake. I promote it by including it in some free meal plans that I create. I sell other supplements by presenting them in the context of specific problems my audience wants to solve (better sleep, fewer cravings, etc.). Reviews are another super effective method. People who are looking for reviews are looking for a specific type of product and they are ready to buy.
Ads are an easy way to monetize any website. In fact, I know that some niche sites don’t even do email marketing and don’t sell digital products They rely solely on ads and manage to make thousands of dollars each month. On the other hand, some bloggers choose to not put ads on their site because ads divert attention from the digital products they sell. Ads, even more than the other monetization strategies require a lot of blog traffic. If you set up, say, AdSense on your blog right away, you will only make a few bucks a month. However, once you get over 60,000 pageviews a month, you can sign up with MediaVine and earn thousands of dollars each month just in ad revenues.
Here are the top 3 most common ad networks used by bloggers:
- AdSense (no traffic requirement)
- Monumetric (at least 10,000 pageviews a month)
- Mediavine (at least 60,000 pagiews a month).
Ezoic is another popular ad network similar to Monmetric.
Once you have some experience selling affiliate products, you may want to consider creating a digital product.
How to Decide What Digital Product to Create
Your digital product has to solve the main problem your audience wants to solve. Have you been growing your mailing list by offering a lead magnet that solves a particular problem? Well, that gives you a clue. What affiliate products have you been selling? What problems do they solve? More clues…
The key with digital products is to be clear on what problem they solve and how they take your audience from point A to point B. Then, you have to decide which format you are going to offer (usually ebooks or digital courses). I love digital courses! The fact that they are multimedia makes it easier to provide all the info you need to provide to ensure your students’ success. Moreover, the fact that they hear your voice and see your face helps you establish a deeper connection.
I have personally not used sponsored posts as part of my monetization strategy, but I know many bloggers do. In fact, when I wrote The Exact Formula to Create a Reliable Passive Income With Niche Websites, I discovered that sponsored posts account for 14% of the income of bloggers who make from $2,000 to $7,500 a month. That’s not a negligible proportion!
Photo Credit: Blogging Millionaire
What Are Sponsored Posts?
When you created a sponsored post, you are paid by a company to create content about their products and services. When you create a sponsored post, you may be paid for the whole process of creating the post like you would any other blog post (the text, pictures, graphics, etc.) or it may involve only one aspect like the photography, email marketing, social media post, etc.
How to Get Sponsored Post Opporutnies
As your blog grows, you won’t have to do much to get sponsored post opportunities. Companies will reach out to you. If you are a beginner blogger and wish to write sponsored posts, you will have to work at establishing relationships with brands that are congruent with the content your produce. You can also join influencer networks like:
When you join an influencer network, you can see the opportunities that come up and apply.
Services, particularly coaching, are gaining in popularity when it comes to increasing blogging income. I have noticed that many bloggers move away from digital courses and offer high-ticket coaching services when they want to scale. Of course, services are not limited to coaching services. Your business can consist of offering particular services like creating websites, setting ad campaigns, or photographing weddings.
Benefits of Offering Services
Offering services will increase your authority and your exposure as your satisfied clients share your content. Another benefit of offering services is that you get to know your clients really well and learn to appreciate better their pain points and how to overcome them. This way, your content will become even more targeted.
How to Get Started With Services
If your blog is already your profession, you can get started right away (let’s say you are a fitness coach starting a fitness blog or a financial advisor starting a finance blog). Otherwise, wait a bit to gain some authority and blog traffic. Start by creating a digital product, learn from your students. Then, offer some group coaching and go from there. Group coaching allows you to get to know your clients and tailor a one-on-one coaching service if that’s one of your goals.
So, do bloggers make money, you ask? Sure they do! And good money at that! The problem is that succeeding as a blogger takes time. You will have to work long hours without seeing the fruit of your labor at first. That’s why so many bloggers give up. If you want to get started right and make sure you understand your niche, your monetization options, and how to drive the right traffic to your blog, don’t forget to check out my Niche Site Workshop.