Ah yes, the burning question — How do bloggers make money? Don’t they just sit around, take pictures, and write every once in a while? How on earth are they earning money?
Well, let me start off by saying that blogging as a career isn’t actually easy. Hobby blogging may be, but blogging for a full-time income isn’t.
Bloggers have to work really hard as there are multiple hats they need to wear in order to succeed. We have to do our own graphic design, our own marketing, our own social media management, our own managing, our own negotiating, our own emails, and more. There is definitely a lot of work put in to sustain our business.
Furthermore, I believe how we actually earn our money is a huge mystery to many people, and I understand why. It’s a lot different than the traditional job most of us have grown up being familiar with and it’s also different than running a business that sells physical products. So, I can definitely understand where the curiosity, the confusion, and the judgement can hail from.
To help solve this age-old mystery, I’ve written 6 of the most popular ways bloggers make money online.
1. AFFILIATE MARKETING
Affiliate marketing is my favourite way of making money online because it’s a form of passive income.
Passive income is income you receive on a regular basis without much required effort to maintain it. It’s really a “set it and forget it” type of situation.
Affiliate marketing works by applying to a company’s affiliate program, being approved, and then weaving in the given referral links throughout your blog content. If a reader purchases something through your special affiliate link, you receive a commission for the influence of the sale.
For example, in my blog post Triple Your Website’s Traffic With This One Pinterest Strategy, I’ve included multiple links to the social media scheduler that has helped me grow my blog through Pinterest. I receive a commission from the company every time someone signs up for it through my website.
All companies pay their affiliates through different channels, however direct deposit and PayPal are the most commonly used.
2. AD NETWORKS
Advertising networks help you embed a special code onto your website to begin running third party ads in your sidebar, header, footer, and within your blog’s content.
Then when blog readers see the ads (CPM) or click the ads (CPC), the blogger gets paid.
Keep in mind that in order to have ads placed onto your website, you’ll usually have to reach a certain amount of pageviews before applying to an ad network.
It’s also not uncommon for an ad network to require exclusivity. This means that you can only run their ad network on your blog.
Popular advertising networks:
3. DIRECT ADVERTISING
The difference between ad networks and direct advertising is that there is no middle man.
Either you reach out to a company or a company reaches out to you to place their ads onto your blog, and instead of an ad network taking out a percentage for themselves, you get to keep the entirety of the profit.
This option does take more work, however, it gives the blogger more control about what’s displayed on their website and how much they’re going to get paid.
Most advertising networks will allow you to sell private ads alongside the ads from their network.
Sponsored posts are a fantastic way of making money online.
Bloggers can apply to agencies to help match them up with a suitable brand, or as your blog grows, companies can also begin directly asking you to display, review, or link their product or service on your website in exchange for money.
Sponsored post payments vary on how influential the blogger is, however it’s common for a blogger to get paid $300-$500 per post.
Popular sponsorship marketplaces:
Activate by Bloglovin
5. FREELANCE SERVICES
There are tons of bloggers who make a substantial amount of income every month from providing services to their audience.
This could be in the form of coaching, consulting, website design, branding and graphics, social media management, business management, and so on and so forth.
If you are an expert in a certain field, somebody who loves being challenged creatively, and enjoys working with others one on one, freelancing is a great way of earning money whilst working from home.
Payments can be made through PayPal or a built-in eCommerce system.
6. SELLING DIGITAL PRODUCTS
Selling digital products on your website is another form of making passive income.
Digital products can come in the form of e-books, e-courses, printables, stock photos, themes, fonts, plugins, membership sites, and so on and so forth.
These products are usually tremendously time consuming to initially create, however, the payoff can definitely be well worth it, as you get to keep 100% of the profits.
Downloads are delivered instantly and you get to make money in your sleep. It’s a win-win for everybody!
→ Interested in becoming a blogger? I’ve put together a step-by-step tutorial you can follow along with on how to start your very own blog. It’s inexpensive to get started and super easy to set up!