Last week I showed you how to get your blog up and running with SiteGround.
So, how do people actually make money blogging?
Blogging opens the door to dozens of different revenue streams. But in the beginning, let’s keep things simple.
Here are four of the most common ways to make money with your blog – even as a beginner! You can use all of them, or pick one and master it before moving on.
Let’s break it down:
1. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is probably the easiest way to make money blogging for beginners.
Affiliate marketing is when you get a commission when somebody buys something through a link on your blog. To do this, you’ll need a special tracking link, called an affiliate link.
Usually, the affiliate link installs a cookie on the user’s computer. This means that even if somebody buys a few days or weeks later, the sale can be traced back to you and you get commission!
Lots and lots of online stores and products have their own affiliate programs. There are also affiliate networks, which have links to lots of different kinds of products under one umbrella.
The affiliate programs you sign up to will depend on your blog’s niche and what products you want to promote.
However, there are a few general affiliate networks which will be useful to most bloggers.
The main affiliate networks I use are:
I use MaxBounty to promote survey sites. If you blog about making money online like me, this has loads of survey and other money-making affiliates all in one place so I highly recommend it. It has lots of other affiliates in different niches, too.
Yes, Amazon has its own affiliate program! You can link to anything sold on Amazon and get a commission. There are different programs for the US, EU, Canada and some other countries, so make sure you sign up for the right one for your audience. On the down side, Amazon commission rates are quite low and the cookie length is only 24 hours. But on the plus side, Amazon is a very trusted brand so conversion rates tend to be high!
ShopStyle Collective is best for fashion and home items. If you are a lifestyle blogger you will find loads of great products here. I use this network for Pinterest affiliate marketing, but not so much on my blogs because it doesn’t really fit my niche. One cool thing about ShopStyle Collective is that it pays you for each click, not just for purchases! This means you can start making money your very first day 🙂
Awin (formerly Affiliate Window) is a network with lots of different brands and shops. They cover everything from travel to fashion to personal finance. You need to apply to each brand individually. They are also the affiliate partner for Etsy, which is an awesome site with products in many niches.
Skimlinks has a plugin that converts normal links into affiliate links, if you happen to have linked to something in its network. I personally have made very little money from this network. However, it is worth installing the plugin because sometimes I do get a random commission from a site that I had no idea had an affiliate program!
In addition, there are affiliate programs for loads of individual products and websites. There are way too many to list here and it will obviously depend on your blog niche!
If there is a product you want to link to, I recommend just Googling the name with “affiliate” and see what comes up.
As an example, some of the individual programs I use are:
- Profit Accumulator for matched betting
- SiteGround for blogging
- This ebook for affiliate marketing on Pinterest
When you’re choosing affiliates, think of products you love yourself, and products you would be happy to recommend to friends and family.
Don’t let affiliate commissions affect your reviews. It can look really fake and you can lose your readers’ trust.
But when a reader buys a truly great product on your recommendation and you get a commission, everyone’s a winner! 🙂
Also, you need to let your readers know when you are using an affiliate link. See the top of this page for an example disclosure!
2. Sponsored posts
Sponsored posts are another great way to make money blogging. This is when a company or brand pays you to publish a post mentioning them or linking back to them. Sometimes they ask you to write the post yourself, and sometimes they provide pre-written content.
Sponsored posts can be harder to get into for beginners. Most brands will want to see that you have an established site with a good number of visitors. Often companies want to know your DA, which is a ranking of how trustworthy your site is. You can check your DA for free here.
The fees for sponsored posts vary a lot! Fees can start at around £30 for a newer blog (around DA 10), and you can increase your fees as you blog gets more established. With a DA in the mid 20s you can usually ask for at least £100, and a blog with a DA over 30 can sometimes charge several hundred pounds per post. It really depends on the niche and client, though, so you may see people taking a lot more or a lot less.
Where to find sponsored posts for your blog
Once your blog is big enough, companies will sometimes approach you directly for sponsored posts! In the meantime, there are lots of blogging networks you can apply to that will match you up with opportunities.
Again, there are too many to list here, especially since it depends on your niche, but here a few places just to get you started:
- Bloggers Connected
- UK Blogger Opportunities Facebook group (and search for other blogging groups too)
- Bonjour Blogger (this site has links to loads of different blogging networks)
If you are going to post sponsored posts, I recommend reading up on the difference between follow and no-follow links.
As with affiliate marketing, you have to disclose a sponsored post. You can use wording like sponsored, contributed or collaborative post to signal that you were paid.
Adverts are an easy way to make money from your blog. But be aware: unless you have huge page views, you won’t make very much money!
The good thing about display advertising on your blog is that you only have to set it up once and then it makes money passively.
There are lots of different advertising networks. The most well-known is probably Google Adsense. It’s supposed to be quite easy to get into for beginners. Having said that, I was rejected for promoting gambling (I had a matched betting post on my homepage at the time) so make sure you review their requirements first!
I currently have adverts from media.net on Boost My Budget. They are easy to use and have good support. Media.net are also quite easy to get into as a new blogger.
Once you get high page views, you can join more exclusive and better paying ad networks. Lots of my blogging friends rave about Mediavine. It’s supposed to pay very well, but you need at least 25,000 sessions in a month to join.
4. Selling a product
Many bloggers make a great income by selling their own product. This could be anything from an ebook to a physical product! Ebooks and online courses (called ‘info products’) are probably the most popular products for bloggers, because you can sell the same product over and over, creating passive income.
This is one way of making money blogging that I haven’t tried yet, so I can’t give you much specific information here. Femtrepreneur and By Regina are fantastic blogs with more information on creating info products.
You can sell your product directly from your blog, or direct readers to an online shop like Etsy.
Of course, you can sell a product from day one if you like, but it’s likely to be more successful if you already have an establish blog and lots of loyal fans.
You can even enlist other bloggers to be affiliates for your product! This way, they will help you promote your product in return for a commission on the sales.
You can use a platform like SendOwl to sell your book and handle affiliate marketers.
Start making money with your blog
Affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, advertising and selling products are the four most common ways to make money blogging.
There are actually dozens of other ways to monetize your blog, but these are the easiest for beginners.
Which ones have you tried? Do you know any other ways? Is there anything you’d like to know more about?
I’m planning more posts about making money blogging in the future, so watch this space! 🙂
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