I’ve been blogging professionally since 2012 and I’m proud to say that I hit the grand daddy this year.
In one month, I earned $10k+ from blogging. Woah!
Of course, my income fluctuates from month to month. I don’t always earn that much. But it certainly shows you what’s possible if you stick with blogging for the longterm.
With this article, I want to give you an idea of some of the income streams out there that you can use to monetize your blog.
These are the strategies that many bloggers who are making far more income than me have used to create a healthy living doing what they love.
It’s important that you diversify your income stream in the longterm, because you never know what might happen. It helps prevent you from going out of business.
If you haven’t already, go and start a blog right now. You’ll thank me later for giving you this push. A blog can seriously transform your life. It can totally change the trajectory of your career.
To tell you the truth, I never actually thought I’d be able to make a living doing this. But, I underestimated how small steps towards your goal can add up over time.
Writing even one blog post a week can make a big difference! You can either grow your monthly income or stay at a job you hate!
1. Services, Consulting, and Coaching
In the early days, this is how most bloggers earn an income. They’ll offer consulting, coaching or business services to their readers.
You might think… why would ANYONE pay me money for my advice?
Good question! The main reason is that when you write a comprehensive article, you demonstrate your knowledge on a particular topic.
It shows people that you know what you’re talking about. It also gives them a chance to get to know you a little. This makes strangers more comfortable hiring you to help them with their business or life.
But, this shouldn’t surprise you. This is why many authors write books. They want those high-priced speaking and consulting gigs. They want to solidify themselves as an “expert” on a particular topic.
You can begin to earn income by using your blog a secret weapon for generating leads that will pay you for your time.
2. Banner Advertisements
It doesn’t seem like it, but banner advertisements actually still make money. I still generate a significant income stream from advertisements in the form of Google’s Adsense Program and BuySellAds.
The great thing about advertisements is that they’re passive income. You’re selling the attention of your blog visitors and readers to a 3rd party. Typically, this is a company that’s interested in reaching those readers.
While you probably won’t get rich from banner ads, they are an easy way to begin to generate some cash in the early stages.
I fondly remember earning my very first $2 from Adsense in 2012. I was able to take my girlfriend out to coffee – haha!
For me, Adsense was a great motivational tool. It proved to me that I could make money from blogging. I just had to generate more traffic.
Seeing my earning going up made me want to write EVEN MORE high quality articles and get them out there as fast as possible.
I had never experienced anything like it. Advertisers were actually paying to be shown on my blog. This wasn’t Monopoly money. This was cold hard cash.
3. Sponsored Content
Sponsored articles are another easy way to begin to earn some income as you’re getting started as a blogger. They’re an important income stream, just don’t oversaturate your readers.
With a sponsored article, a 3rd party company is basically saying that they want to reach your blog readers in a more engaged way than a banner advertisement.
They might have you write the article or they might provide their own article for you to publish on your blog. Not only will this give them access to your readership, but it also gives them a back link, which is powerful in the eyes of Google.
Technically, you should always “nofollow” your back links for sponsored posts, but not every blogger does that.
While you can earn healthy money by taking offers for sponsored content, don’t compromise your values!
Your relationship with your readers should always be your highest priority. Otherwise, they’re going to smell that you’re money-hungry and they won’t take your recommendations as seriously.
4. eBooks and Guides
Before I talk about eBooks, physical books, and guides, let me just say that it’s scary to ask people to actually pay money for something that you’ve created.
An easy way to begin to work up the courage to charge for a higher priced product, like a course, it to begin with eBooks.
When you host the ebook on your own website, you can charge anywhere from $10 – $30. You might even be able to charge more if the content is very sought after.
If you’re publishing the book on Amazon, you’ll probably be pricing the ebook at $2.99 and the physical book between $6 – $10. Amazon will then take a fee and distribute you royalties.
There are a lot of tools that you can use to deliver this ebook to website visitors, including:
Like with banner ads, you’re not going to make a tremendous amount from ebooks. However, it will prove to you that:
- Yes, you can sell a digital product online
- Yes, people will be happy they paid for it.
You’ll begin to gain more confidence knowing that you can actually sell products through your blog to your readers. It’s also pretty sweet that you’ll be generating a passive income stream.
Once you create the ebook or physical book, you don’t have to make another. You can just sell copies, and you don’t even have to be there for the transaction to take place, hence the passive income.
5. Affiliate Marketing And Selling Other People’s Products
Affiliate marketing is another important income stream for my blog business. It’s something that I started to get involved in after the first year or so of blogging.
The concept behind affiliate marketing is simple. Rather than creating your own digital or physical products, you can sell OTHER PEOPLE’s products.
You’ll then get a commission when you sell one of these products.
Now, in order to make decent money from affiliate marketing, you’re going to need an audience that you can broadcast these offers to either via email or linking to the products in your blog post. This is why most beginners don’t start here.
Aside from online courses, which I’ll get into later, affiliate marketing is the closest thing I’ve come to in terms of “magic money.”
You can have income distributed into your bank account without even doing anything. The other company takes care of all of the customer service. You just collect commission checks.
It’s pretty freaking sweet. It’s also 100% passive income.
I have blog posts that I’ve written years ago that still earn me income.
I recommend reading through my other article on affiliate marketing if you want a quick primer.
If you’re ready to hit the ground running, take a look into these affiliate programs:
These are broad affiliate programs where most people can find products to sell. There are also niche-specific affiliate programs. You can even hash out a deal with a company in your niche, as I have, to earn commission when you refer customers.
I know that the allure of money is enticing for a bootstrapped blogger, but again, don’t compromise your vales. You’ll regret it later. Don’t sell shitty products.
6. Online Courses
In the last several years, online courses have grown into a massive revenue stream for many bloggers out there. Personally, they’ve contributed a lot to the growth of my income.
Online courses go hand and hand with blogging. Most bloggers that I know are teachers. They’re educating a particular niche about a specific topic. They’re helping them answer questions and solve problems.
When you take this approach, ebooks, consulting, and online courses are a complete no brainer. They are more ways that a blogger can help educate and teach readers.
The reason that online courses are so powerful is that, like an ebook, you can create it once and sell it many times. This is the formula for ongoing passive income!
Simply put, online courses are scalable and what’s more, they command a high price point. While you have to sell 20 ebooks per month at the $20 price point to make $400, you only need to sell one or two courses.
With a high price point, you can also afford to advertise the course on social media networks like Facebook. This will bring in new students and allow you to advertise even more. Cool, eh?
I foresee online courses becoming a major source of income for myself and other bloggers in the next 5-10 years. It’s where the action is at!
There are many software tools that you can use to create an online course. For a complete step-by-step tutorial, check out this free guide. Also, here are a list of tools you can use:
7. Freelancing and Content Marketing
If you’re a good writer and you know how to get traffic to your articles, you possess a valuable skill that others would LOVE to make use of for their own business.
You can use your newly acquired skills and experience to land some great freelancing gigs. You could even offer to manage the content marketing of a larger business.
Keep in mind that when you’re freelancing for a company, you’re getting paid by the project by the hour. You’re not building your business directly, but you are creating an income stream that you can use to go full time as a blogger.
There are a bunch of websites that you can use to find freelancing gigs like:
8. Social Media and Advertising Packages
As you begin to grow your blog, you’ll come to find that your audience will spill over across multiple social networks and other channels, like an email subscriber list.
At this point in time, you should think of yourself as a small media company. Media companies don’t only make money from banger ads. They also sell advertising packages.
Your advertise package could take the form of:
- Social media promotion
- Banner ads
- Email list blast
- Sponsored content, etc.
Creating an advertising package will naturally allow you to command a higher rate. You’ll also give advertisers maximum exposure to your readership.
9. Live Events and Online Summits
Hosting live events are another great way to monetize the audience that you’ve built up. You can sell tickets to a conference or even an online summit where you’ll be going more in-depth into your subject matter.
Live training can command a very high price point and create some great social proof for your brand in the way of photos and videos. It will also give you the opportunity to form deeper one-on-once connections with your readers.
One of the big benefits of holding a live event or online summit is that you can also bring in other voices to teach your readers about a particular subject. You’ll be able to network with other experts in your community and grow your brand alongside theirs.
10. Mastermind Groups
Lastly, a growing income stream that I’ve noticed, particularly for big-name bloggers is the concept of ultra exclusive mastermind groups.
A mastermind group is designed to forward the business goals of the members also also form tight knit connections among the participants.
Premium mastermind groups typically will charge members to become a part of the group. A simple example of this is Lewis Howe’s Summit of Greatness.
Of course, in order to create this income stream, you’re going to need to have been blogging in your niche for a while. Usually members of the mastermind will be readers who have gotten results from your teachings and want to take it to the next level.
You’ll also need the connections with other high profile influencers to persuade readers of the value of joining your exclusive mastermind group.
Where To Go From Here
These are a few different top common income streams for most professional bloggers. Naturally, the degree to which you emphasize certain ones, like online courses or advertisements, is going to vary from industry to industry.
Now that you’ve discovered the different sources of revenue for a professional blogger, it’s time to take action! Sign up for my email newsletter for more information on how you can go full time on your blog.
I’d also recommend checking out this article, where I go far more in-depth into how to create an online course.
Finally, if you still haven’t done it… set up your blog!!
There’s no excuse if you haven’t done this yet. It’s been proven that yes, anyone can make a living blogging. It’s not terribly difficult. It just takes time and consistent work.