One of the questions I get most is, “How do bloggers make money?” So I’ll be addressing that today. Blogging can be a great way to earn an income; however, monetizing isn’t as easy as it seems. Before I kick this post off, I want to caution that there’s a lot of work involved. I started blogging in 2012 and it wasn’t until July 2016 that I took my hobby full-time. It’s important to remember that what works for one person may not necessarily work for you, and everyone’s timeline looks different. If you’re looking to monetize your blog, I’ll be addressing four ways bloggers make money along with some practical nuggets on how you can too. The various methods listed below are great starting points for everyone no matter where you’re at in your career.
Keep Reading Ways Bloggers Make Money
1. Affiliate Links
The most common and easiest ways to start earning income on your blog is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another brand’s products. All you have to do is find a product you like, promote it to others on your blog, and earn a commission on each sale or click. rewardStyle (LikeToKnow.it), ShopStyle, and Amazon Affiliates are a few of the most common platforms for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers. I’m a personal fan of rewardStyle and LikeToKnow.it because of the easy interface for not only bloggers but for shoppers too.
My tips for maximizing income from affiliate links are to first establish yourself as an authority by creating useful, entertaining content about a specific topic. I emphasize specializing because viewers are more likely to trust your opinion when you come off as an expert in that one subject. Also, take advantage of affiliate links during huge sale seasons like end of summer or end of winter as well as annual sales like the Nordstrom Sale.
NOTE: I want to mention that basing an income off of affiliate links is risky. With more and more security updates being made to IOS and apps like Instagram, cookie tracking windows (cookies are what track affiliate links) continue to be cut shorter and shorter – and later this month an IOS update will render cookies completely untrackable on Safari.
2. Brand Sponsorships
Brand sponsorships are also increasingly popular today, especially on Instagram. This is where a brand pays an individual or provide them with free product to promote their brand. It can be in the form of an Instagram post, YouTube video, event host, blog post, all-inclusive trip, or a full round of social posts. I feel that the most effective way to land brand sponsorships is to first build an engaged audience, develop a strong point of view, and connect consistently with others online. This will help you develop authority and influence, and then you can reach out to brands that align with your vision. You can start building professional relationships by connecting on social media or sending cold emails.
If you’re newer to sponsorships, there are several marketing platforms that connect brands and content creators for collaborations, such as Revfluence, Octoly, Social Native, Activate by Bloglovin, and more. These are all great options to start building your network.
3. Banner Ads
Banner ads aren’t something I’ve really used often; however, I know several bloggers who have had success with them. Generally, there are two ways to earn income from banner ads – through clicks or impressions. With clicks, you get paid every time a viewer selects the ad, and with impressions, you’re paid a flat rate for the number of viewers that see the ad. You can even sell private ads if you have a ton of traffic that other bloggers or small businesses find valuable.
Some people see banner ads as an excellent way to generate passive income. However, others feel that it’s inauthentic for their audience. I think this is solely dependent on your audience, which only you know best. My only other thought on banner ads is that if you don’t have a lot of web traffic, it’s probably not worth it.
4. Digital Products or Services
If you have a special skill or knowledge high in demand, you may want to get into selling digital products or services. Some bloggers are photographers and sell that service to brands while others sell presets. I’ve seen fashion bloggers start clothing brands and beauty bloggers develop skincare and makeup products. I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of it too along with fitness coaching services, how to start a blog, or how to make money with YouTube. You’ll be surprised at the kind of knowledge and transformation people are willing to pay for.
Again, it’s key to position yourself as an expert, brand yourself, create tons of content, and spend a lot of time connecting with people so that you can convert prospects into customers.
What is your experience with monetizing your blog? Anything else you’d like to know?
Photos by Lainey Reed