Can you still make money blogging?
The answer is a hard YES!
According to a survey of thousands of bloggers by ProBlogger.net:
- 4% earn $10K or higher (per month)
- 9% make between $1K–$10K
- 7% earn between $500–$1K
Depending on your:
- Efforts: how often you write and the quality of your posts, and
- Niche: what sector you write for (business blogs can earn more)...
...opportunities are definitely there!
The most profitable blogs are in the following industries:
- Business and marketing blogs
- Finance blog
- Health blogs
- Fashion blogs
- DIY and crafts blogs
- Nutrition and food blogs
- Lifestyle blogs
You want to carve a niche in any of these sectors and serve your tribe.
And when it comes to starting a blog and making money with it, blogstatic.io makes it super easy. You can practically have your blog ready in minutes.
How to make money blogging
Blogging is about consistency and staying on schedule with your posting frequency. Of course, the most ideal situation is to post daily.
Quality is essential, but don't be fooled that you have to be "perfect."
A published post is better than Perfect!
Ali Abdal (a doctor turned YouTuber) in a recent talk with Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome — SPI iterated that being consistent key.
Posting often and playing the long game while constantly offering value is your "shortcut" to success.
Improving your reader's life with your blogging is what will make you money.
Research what people are reading on your selected topic and give them a better version of it. More of it, often, and from a different angle.
This is what will get you noticed.
Without a clear sense of how readers will find you, your best posts will go unnoticed. Focus on one distribution channel.
To compare them all:
- Twitter is better for business blogs
- Facebook is better for consumer products
- Pinterest is for DIY and crafts.
Choose wisely and stick with one social network in the beginning.
Then expand your efforts as you grow.
Don't fool yourself into thinking that you can maintain every social media channel with the same repurposed post.
The tone and delivery of each social network are unique to their own context.
Being mindful about SEO while writing for your 1 single fan will get you more similar readers.
Some bloggers mindlessly focus on SEO only and forget "the reader."
Google is so bright by now that it will serve the well-written content before it serves the one that "followed" the rules. Google is not a technical machine. It's a "living" AI that reads your blog as humans do.
Specific ways to make money blogging
Technically speaking, these are some of the ways you can make money blogging.
To begin with, choose one suggestion and then keep adding more as you get more comfortable. Stick with the ones that work for you. Then, once you start productizing your offerings (selling the same exact thing to many people), you can start adding more options.
There are bloggers right now making 4–5 figures monthly from the comfort of their homes with these efforts described below:
- Paid webinar
- Paid directory
- Sponsored articles
- Paid reviews
- Paid tutorials
- Affiliate marketing
- Members-only content
Direct ways to make money blogging
These are efforts done directly within your blog that can turn a profit.
1. Writing an eBook
Your blog should have a recurring theme.
A topic that you can stick to daily.
It's what your readers will come to know your blog for.
As your blog grows, you can choose to round your best performing posts and rewrite them into a concise long-form article which eventually can turn into an eBook sold directly via Gumroad.
Here's a YouTube tutorial by Dr. Gee Nonterah on how to sell on Gumroad.
You can write various eBooks covering various subtopics in your blog.
These eBooks don't have to be very long.
People reading eBooks lean towards scanning (or fast reading) where headers, bullet-points, and sectioned content come in handy.
The goal is to make your eBook digestible in a quick sitting.
As your blog grows in popularity, it can act as a distribution channel for your own eBooks. And, with enough readers, you can publish an actual book either through a publisher or on your own.
View this quick 7-step guide on how to self-publish a book.
2. Hosting a paid webinar
Webinars are a great way to grow your audience.
They don't have to be free and can be run as a paid online course.
The difference from a regular online course is that webinars run LIVE, where participants can ask questions and get answers in real-time.
To run a webinar, you can use Livestorm.co, Zoom, or even Google Meet.
Webinars can also be run in partnership with other bloggers and influencers.
The best way to run a webinar in tandem is to find someone whose audience can benefit from your content and vice-versa.
This way, both of you can acquire new fans.
After the Live recording, you can polish the webinar and offer it as a paid course on your blog or via Udemy.
3. Creating a paid directory on your blog
Full-blown directories of yesteryear are out of the picture, though niched-down directories can be helpful for someone looking for a solution. In addition, Google can list you as a resource when someone is searching for said results.
The best way to go about building a directory is searching locally about a specific industry. For example, let's take the keyword "beauty salons."
Based on your results:
- Create your directory by listing businesses found from the search
- After you've done this, you can contact each listed business on your directory and ask them to edit anything on their free listing.
- You can leverage this interaction to let them know about your paid listing opportunities (higher on the list, more attributes, etc.).
4. Sponsored articles
Sponsored articles allow you to monetize your blog by posting other brands' content on your blog. The tricky bit is to stay on topic and have these articles not sound like an ad. Because not only you can irritate your readers, but Google may take notice and penalize your blog because of this.
Websites like Intellinfluence can connect you with brands who pay influencers (you) for sponsored articles.
Important: In most countries, you have to disclose that the article is sponsored. In the United States, you must follow the FTC's Endorsement Guides to be on the good side of the law.
5. Paid reviews
Sort of in line with "Sponsored Posts," paid reviews are articles in which you choose to review something with your own writing and either get paid for it directly or by including an affiliate link (more on this below).
In other words, a company may contact you to review their product. You have to make sure that the company is in line with you providing a critique of their product, as well. Because you don't want your review to sound like an ad.
You want your readers to get a transparent (albeit somewhat positive) review.
Finding "paid review" opportunities with a recurring element can ensure an ongoing payment and a more stable revenue stream for your blog.
Websites like PayPerPost.com can help you connect with businesses that may be interested in engaging with you about "paid review" opportunities.
Also, some of the perks could be in keeping the product (if it's a physical product), or in cases where you're reviewing a software (app), you may get an extended free trial or a discounted price.
On the dark side of things, some affiliate marketers may contact a business with the false pretense of promoting them just so they can get their product for free.
Don't be one of those affiliates.
6. Paid tutorials
Similar to "paid reviews," paid tutorials are step-by-step reviews of a product.
This is usually best accomplished with a software product or an online tool, where the reviewer (you, in this case) describes in detail how to use a product.
In addition to the written tutorial, posts can be turned into a video. This will add another dimension to your post and overall make your blog more versatile.
Here's a quick guide on Buffer on how to quickly start a YouTube channel.
7. Running ads
Google AdSense is the easiest way to start serving ads on your blog.
After registering, you can choose the types of ads you want to run and implement a script on your blog (blogstatic.io makes this easy).
Google is pretty smart about what types of ads to show your readers. This way, there's less chance of them being irritated.
Some bloggers use other networks like Media.net, Ezoic.com, or Taboola.com.
Nothing prohibits you from using all of them on the same blog, though it can quickly get messy for your readers, and you may, in fact, alienate them.
Pick and choose wisely.
Side note on traditional ads
You can also choose to run "manual" ads in which a company may want you to place a permanent ad on a prominent spot on your blog without rotating or sharing that space with another advertiser.
For this type of engagement to work best in your favor, you must commit to a long-term relationship that can create recurring revenue for your blog.
Sometimes you can even score an "affiliate marketing" link attached to the same ad. This way, in addition to the paid ad showing on your blog, you will get a cut from each sale you send their way (readers that click on that ad and buy).
Remember that even when readers don't click on the ad, they still learn about that business or product.
Impressions on a highly visited blog can go a long way.
8. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing can be pretty lucrative.
With affiliate marketing, a company will provide you with a link to mention on your blog. Then, for every reader that clicks on it and buys, you get a commission from that sale. It's that simple.
Affiliate links can be mentioned within a post covering a semi-related topic.
However, it usually works best if a full-blown post (review) can be written about the product where the affiliate link can be used a few times.
The best part is that the reader who clicks on the affiliate link doesn't have to purchase right away from your client's website (for the commission to be attributed to you).
Most affiliate programs allow at least a 30-day "cookie." This means that the commission will go your way if the visitor purchases within 30 days since clicking on your affiliate link.
This is the epitome of passive income since those affiliate links you share can generate purchases even while you sleep. With a compounding effect over time, it can be a great source of recurring revenue for your blog.
Amazon Associates is one affiliate program that a ton of bloggers use. With downsides being: Low 1-time commission of 4%—10% and a 24-hour cookie.
Here at blogstastic.io, our affiliate program offers a 180-day cookie and pays a 30% recurring commission for as long as that user you have referred our way stays with us.
For an affiliate program to work, your audience must be the right target for the product or service you are promoting. For example, if your blog's topic revolves around blogging tips, our affiliate program would be a perfect fit. Otherwise, the ROI would be low for both.
9. Members only content
As your blog gets more fans, they will be more likely to pay a monthly recurring fee to read your member-only posts.
Therefore, it's paramount to still offer free content, so new readers can get a sense of what your member-only articles will be like.
Members-only content can become quite time-consuming because readers will expect a well-researched article for the money they are paying. However, it can quickly grow with new members and become a great source of recurring revenue for your blog.
Also, your members can receive a "special" newsletter where you can feature your paid content or even include additional benefits such as newsletter-only content, unpublished case studies, eBooks at no charge.
You can run your newsletter via ConvertKit.
Indirect ways to make money blogging
The suggestions listed below have to do with your personal brand, where you can leverage your blogging to score outside engagements.
The specific (on-topic) knowledge you will share on your blog can catapult you into being recognized as the go-to person for a particular industry.
This newly acquired notoriety can lead to consulting engagements that can earn an hourly rate worthy of a month's ad on your blog.
Consulting is not doing the actual work. It's simply advising your clients and potentially offering them a strategy based on your expertise which they can implement with their team.
Coaching is similar to consulting, but no specific results are expected of you.
You are basically advising your clients (or a group of them) on a specific topic, but they can choose what to do with it.
In other words, your consulting gig may need to hit some KPIs based on the strategy you design for your clients. At the same time, coaching is a more relaxed approach, though you're still expected to deliver the goods: your expertise and actual experience on the topic.
An example: Let's say your blog is about personal finance. One of your readers may hire you to coach their family for 3 months to better manage their personal finances. The process may include you learning about their financial goals and their spending habits. Based on those findings, you may offer them ideas on how they can better plan ahead. During the entire engagement, you may meet up with them every week, monitor their progress, revise goals, with the ultimate aim to help them get better at managing their personal finances.
Freelance work can, in fact, create a solid cushion for your blog to thrive.
Some bloggers use their blog solely as a lead magnet for their freelance work.
Let's say your topic is "how to better manage social media accounts for businesses." This can position you as an expert in the field. And while your clients can hire you as a consultant, you can also do the actual work for them.
Always be on the lookout for gigs based on a monthly retainer.
These types of freelance work are helpful in terms of you being less surprised about your upcoming tasks, giving you more mental space to focus on your main thing: your blog.
Also, with predictable recurring work, you don't need to spend your valuable time constantly looking for new clients.
Speaking gigs are another perk of getting blog-famous on a specific topic.
If you run your blog as a person (not as a business like this blog), you will have a chance to create a personal brand that can resonate with a specific audience.
The more value you give back to your community, the more they'd want to hear from you. As a result, conferences and events may ask you to speak.
This doesn't mean that you should wait around for a conference to invite you.
You can be more proactive about finding speaking engagements.
One of the biggest struggles conferences have is securing enough speakers. You contacting them directly with an outline of your speech is helping them get a step closer to completing their speakers' list.
5. Create an online store
Creating a store on Shopify is easy , and you don't have to manage any inventory.
On Shopify, you can basically create products with one of their partners. Once someone orders from your store, the ordered product is created on-demand and shipped to your buyer, with you making a commission out of the sale.
Find out more about what dropshipping is.
A few parting thoughts
Focusing your blog on a b2b niche could prove more lucrative.
This is not to say that consumer-facing blogs will perform less.
It still depends on what you're interested in and the level of your enthusiasm.
The value you give to your readers is what matters at the end of the day.
You may find a "profitable" niche, but if you're not interested in the topic, chances are your blog will suffer.
The wisdom relies on finding a middle ground: Something you're passionate about combined with what readers want.
Consistently giving value to your readers will go a long way.
No one can compete with someone who shows up every day with the goods.
However, just showing up is not enough. Producing good content regularly with a fresh take on the subject will attract more readers who can become fans and ultimately buy what you're selling.