If you’ve been following my recent monthly online income reports, you’ll know that I’ve had a fairly successful string of months. Would I be able to survive on this income or support my family? Probably not.
But it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Now while I am more than pleased to have reached this milestone, it’s a matter of sustaining that and growing that. Blogging, however, can be an unpredictable and stressful game. One month may be amazing and the next month could be dismal. And with the amount of hours that goes into it? Sometimes I wonder if it’s really worth the effort.
To be perfectly honest with you, it wouldn’t be. If I were just in this for money and making a profit; I would have sought out something else.
Don’t let me discourage you from starting a blog though. It is entirely possible to be successful and to make money from blogging.
Just don’t expect to become an overnight millionaire.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog just to make money- please stop reading this post. Or if you are expecting to be an overnight millionaire with your blog- please stop reading this post. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
It will test your patience and make you question your sanity. Very similar to having children.
But blogging can also be incredibly rewarding beyond money. When you can make personal connections with your readers and followers on social media. When they become more than just that person who comments on a post or retweets a tweet. You can share a story and make a genuine connection? That is when blogging is one of the most satisfying things in the world.
The money, of course, is also a plus.
But it bears repeating: do not start a blog if your sole purpose is to make money.
Now, if you’re certain that this crazy, hair pulling, late night endeavor is for you? By all means, proceed.
How to Monetize Your Blog for Long Term Success
First, please understand this- there is no universal monetization method. What works for one blogger or group (niche) of bloggers won’t necessarily work for another blogger or niche. There are, however, multiple monetization methods to consider if you want to make money from your blog. Most, if not all bloggers, will use a combination of several methods.
It’s the smarter thing to do, quite honestly, and it definitely helps to have multiple streams of income coming in.
Monetizing with Ads
One of the easiest to set up are ads. This could be independently through multiple sources such as Sovrn, Media.net, or AdSense. Or you could work with an ad network to manage everything for you. Examples of ad networks include AdThrive, Monumentric (was The Blogger Network), and Mediavine.
And though people will always complain about ads, I feel that it’s one of the easiest ways to make money on your blog.
Now, how much you make will also depend on the amount of traffic you receive. Higher traffic generally equates to more ad revenue. But this may not always be the case. If you have an audience that’s more engaged and more likely to click; your traffic may not matter quite as much. Equally important to the traffic and numbers game is the placement of your ads.
Monetizing with Sponsored Posts
This is my favorite and preferred method (so far) when it comes to making money. You can do this independently by reaching out to brands and companies that you use regularly or you can go through a blog network. Some networks may have requirements before joining while others may not. I’ll get into this further when I talk about my favorite networks.
Pay can vary for sponsored work through a network and the amount of promotional work that you put in will also vary.
Sometimes you may question why you agree to the added stress of sponsored work; but I do enjoy it.
Monetizing with Affiliate Links
This is probably another easy way to monetize your blog. Maybe even easier than ads in some ways. In fact, these two links coming up? Yup, those are affiliate links! Companies like ShareaSale and Amazon make it easy for us bloggers to promote our favorite products. Affiliate links are one of those things that I do need to be more mindful of and get my spreadsheets in place.
You can also join affiliate programs for fellow bloggers in your niche to earn money.
Monetizing with Products and Courses
This usually falls into the “passive income” category. Which, I’ll say this much, passive income is a joke. Sure, at some point after you’ve set everything up maybe it is passive and on auto-pilot. But there’s a lot that goes into promotion in the beginning and every so often to get your products in front of new eyes.
So it is truly passive? Yes and no.
But I digress.
Products and courses can be sold directly through your blog or through a third party site such as Etsy, TeachersPayTeachers, etc. It really does depend on the product and the audience that you’re selling to. You can put your eBooks, for example, on places like SendOwl, GumRoad, eJunkie, and Amazon.
Bloggers like Melyssa Griffin are incredibly successful monetizing through courses. Just check out her June 2016 Income Report.
Other Ways to Make Money with Your Blog
You can also use your blog as a hub, of sorts, for services that you may want to offer. Things like coaching, consulting, freelance writing, editing, copywriting, or design/development work. If you’re in a network marketing program, you can also integrate your products into your blog. Kaylene of This Outnumbered Mama also weaves some of her products into her online shop.
I will repeat that yes- it is entirely possible to make money with your blog and through blogging.
Just don’t expect to be an overnight millionaire.