Six Proven Ways to Monetize a Blog

Karol K. / March 9, 2018

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Want to monetize a blog, but don’t know what your options are? We’re here to help.

Below are six different ways to make money from a blog. All of these methods have been tested in the wild, and thousands of bloggers are successfully implementing them to turn a profit.

1. Advertising

Using advertisements is the most straightforward way to monetize a blog, and also the most intuitive when you consider making money from a website in any capacity.

Website ads primarily work in one of two ways:

  1. Selling your ad space directly to advertising agencies.
  2. Working with an advertising network, which will provide ads directly to you.

The downside of the first option is that if you’re a relatively new and unknown website, appealing to advertising agencies can prove difficult. Selling ads directly is only a viable solution for established sites with recognizable brands and large audiences.

Working with an ad network solves this issue, as the network will find advertisers and provide you with some ready-made ads that you can place on your site. In this scenario, you receive a cut of the advertising profits, and the network also gets a share.

If you have a Premium or Business plan with WordPress.com, the easiest way for you to get started with the network model is with WordAds. WordAds works with some of the biggest ad publishers, including Google AdSense, Facebook Audience Network, Amazon A9, and others.

2. Affiliate marketing

The basic idea behind affiliate marketing is this: you promote other people’s products or services and in return, receive commissions whenever your recommendations lead to sales.

With affiliate marketing, no classic ads are involved. Instead, you’re given personal links to use when promoting a product on your site. If your site visitors click on these links and make a purchase, you get a commission.

You are responsible for placing those links somewhere on your site. You can embed them within a blog post, along the sidebar, or wherever you prefer.

Currently, the most popular affiliate program is Amazon’s, which has a base commission of 4 percent.

3. Selling your own products

Perhaps the most obvious way to monetize a blog is to sell a product that your customers can buy directly from you. Arguably, this is the best way to make money from a blog, as you keep the profits.

If you have a business, then the product part is already taken care of. If not, focus on developing one. A good product can be a classic, tangible thing like apparel, or something digital like an ebook, app, or photo.

Once your product is ready, offer it as part of a bigger ecommerce store (built with WooCommerce), or via WordPress.com’s Simple Payments.

4. Selling services

Selling a service is similar to selling a product, only instead of selling a “thing,” you’re selling something that’s intangible.

Some examples of services that you might offer include:

  • Graphic design
  • Photography
  • Copywriting
  • Consulting sessions

The technical setup for selling a service is the same process as product sales — you can do everything through a WooCommerce store, or with WordPress.com’s Simple Payments.

5. Sponsored content

This monetization method is about finding people who are willing to pay you for publishing content on their behalf. This can involve paid reviews, editorial pieces, branded publicity articles, and so on. Basically, anything that can, in some way, benefit a client who is paying for the content.

This approach isn’t necessarily for everyone. For this to be a viable option, your blog needs to have some authority in a niche space so that brands perceive value in receiving your publicity. If you decide to try this path, read more about WordPress.com’s guidelines for publishing sponsored content.

6. Donations

If you’ve been blogging for a while and have a loyal following, some of your regular readers might want to support you by donating a small amount of money every now and then.

This way of monetizing your blog is a full “no strings attached” kind of deal, as you don’t necessarily need to deliver anything in return for the donations. Of course, it should go without saying that you can’t expect people to donate if you don’t provide them with great content that they’ll want to support.

The technical setup is simple. All you need is a basic payment button via WordPress.com’s Simple Payments. If you want, you can predefine a few amounts for your readers to choose from.

Hopefully this list has got you thinking about the many ways to monetize a blog. Give some of them a try, and see if you can transform your blog from a hobby into a business.

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