In my eyes, blogging is the dream job!
You set your own hours, you don’t have to answer to anyone, and your earning potential is pretty much unlimited.
Perhaps you already have a blog, but it’s not earning anything yet.
(If you haven’t started yet, here’s my tutorial on how to get your blog up and running.)
Or maybe you’ve just heard that people make money blogging, and you’re curious: how do bloggers get paid?
Blogging opens the door to literally dozens of different revenue streams. But in the beginning, let’s keep things simple.
Here are the four most common ways to make money with your blog – even as a beginner! Many successful bloggers utilise all of them, but if you’re just starting out I recommend you pick one and master it before moving on.
Let’s break it down:
By the way, this post contains affiliate and referral links. That means that if you make a purchase or sign up for some of the opportunities listed below, I may earn a commission – at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my site!
Affiliate marketing is probably the easiest way to get paid as a newer blogger.
Affiliate marketing is when you get a commission when somebody buys something through a link on your blog. To do this, you’ll be provided with 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 products from many different brands all under one umbrella.
The affiliate programs you sign up to will depend on your blog’s niche and what products you want to promote. There’s no ‘one size fits all’.
However, there are a few general affiliate networks which will be useful to most bloggers.
The main affiliate networks I use are:
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.
If you have visitors from many different countries, you can use Amazon’s ‘One Link’ tool to redirect your reader to the appropriate site.
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 (sales) rates tend to be high!
MagicLinks 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 MagicLinks is that some of the partner companies will pay you for each click, not just for purchases! This means you can start making money your very first day 🙂
You can also use MagicLinks to make money from your social media channels (although you will have to show that you have enough followers).
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 within Awin. They are also the affiliate partner for Etsy, which is an awesome site with products in many niches.
Shareasale is also a network that covers many different brands and shops. It’s ideal for lifestyle bloggers.
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!
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. It has lots of other affiliates in different niches, too.
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 or service 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 course 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 my affiliate disclosure further up this page!
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 complete beginners. Most brands will want to see that you have a professional-looking, established site.
Often companies want to know your DA (Domain Authority), which is kind of a ranking of how trustworthy your site is. You can learn more about DA and how to improve it here, and check your DA for free here.
The fees for sponsored posts is often based on DA, and it can vary a lot!
As a very rough guide, 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 often 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 start to find you and 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:
- Intellifluence (this is my favourite! I made over $400 in my first month on this platform, posting on 3 newer blogs (DAs under 20!)
- Get Blogged
- 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. Basically, Google asks bloggers to mark paid links in a certain way, but many people don’t do this. You can make up your own mind.
As with affiliate marketing, you should disclose a sponsored post to your audience.
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. When you sign up with an ad network, they will give you some code to place on your site to display the ads. Then you get paid per ad view, per click, or both (depending on the network).
Some ad networks have minimum page view requirements. Typically, the higher the page view requirements, the better you will get paid!
Here are my recommended ad networks for different levels of blogger:
- Beginner: Google Adsense or media.net. These networks have no minimum requirements and are easy to get into for beginners. But they don’t pay very well.
- 10,000 pageviews/month: Monumetric. Better paid than Adsense and great customer support.
- 50,000 sessions/month: Mediavine. This is the network I’m currently with on Boost My Budget and I’m very happy with them!
There are other ad networks too, but these are the ones I’ve used personally.
Selling a product
Many bloggers make a great income by selling their own product. This could be anything from a printable worksheet or 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.
You can sell your product directly from your blog, or list it on a third-party site like Amazon or Etsy (and direct readers there from your blog). The benefit of selling on a third-party site is that you can benefit from that website’s organic traffic. But you’ll have to pay some fees and may have less control.
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 manage your affiliate marketers.
This is one way of making money blogging that I haven’t tried myself yet, but here’s a great tutorial on launching a ebook from a blogger who sold 100 copies in 3 hours!
Ready to become a paid blogger?
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 that bloggers get paid? 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! 🙂
This post was first published on 6 March 2018 and was last updated on 7 December 2020.
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