Ah, the age old question: how to make money blogging. Okay, it’s not that age old, considering we’ve had internet for only the past few decades. But it’s still an old question, alright? While I use certain methods to gain income from my blog, other bloggers do it entirely differently than I do. Furthermore, they do way more things than me. So I thought I’d ask some top bloggers how to make money blogging to help you on your way to financial freedom and working for yourself!
Earning money online can be a tricky task to begin, but is definitely do-able for anyone starting a blog. Some people have an online store with e-books and such. Others rock it with blog posts that contain affiliate links (it helps to have good traffic for this one). There are loads of ad networks like Google AdSense and banner ads which can help, but it’s best to employ multiple methods to make it really work. Collecting email addresses from the start is always a good idea should you have a digital product to sell later on.
Successful bloggers have found a ton of ways to make money by doing what they love. But it takes time to start making money online, and bloggers have learned to work hard in the long term. To monetize your blog takes time, and you won’t start making money overnight unfortunately.
How to Make Money Blogging #1: Creating Courses
A good way to make money as a blogger is to sell your knowledge. For example, I’m a professional travel photographer with many years of photography experience. I decided that I could set up an income stream leveraging my knowledge and experience. I did that in the form of an online travel photography course.
This is a good way to make an income. It’s also very rewarding as I get such great feedback from my students as they progress through the course. If you are going to do this, you need to absolutely be an expert in the area that you want to set up your course. I see so many people labeling themselves as “social media experts” or something like that. I’d suggest that expertise takes a lot of time and effort to master. If you are truly an expert in something, it’s likely you are already making money out of it.
Setting up a course isn’t too hard. There are various WordPress plugins that will help you with everything from the course itself through to accepting payment. The hard part is most likely going to be putting the course together (my photography course is over 150,000 words!), making sure it delivers value, and then getting people to buy it. But it can definitely be an excellent way to supplement your income if you have expertise you can market.
By Laurence – Finding the Universe
How to Make Money Blogging #2: Affiliate Marketing
Like most bloggers, we make money in a variety of different methods as I think diversification of income streams is important in blogging. One way we earn money is through affiliate programs. Affiliate programs are a way for a company to advertise and sell its products through a third party (e.g., blogger) who then receives a commission payment for all sales. The types of products that travel bloggers promote can be anything from travel clothing to hotels to tours. Popular affiliate programs for travel bloggers include Amazon, Affiliate Window, ShareASale, Booking.com, and Commission Junction. We personally focus on a few different affiliate programs and write about companies and products we have genuinely used and enjoy. This past year we focused more on affiliate income for the first time and were able to easily double our income from affiliates.
By Jessica – Independent Travel Cats
How to Make Money Blogging #3: Consulting Services
As someone who’s been working with brands and destinations for more than five years now, and earns a full-time income doing so, I’ve learned the tricks of the trade. I know what both the brands and my audience need to be happy. This allows me to offer consulting services to bloggers that want to learn how to work with brands. But I also work with brands that want to start working with bloggers, but aren’t sure of how to approach it.
Via meetings, Skype calls, and email I guide brands through their blogger projects from creating the concept to doing the outreach and getting results. Likewise, I help bloggers do the right research, craft compelling pitches, and simply be a pleasure to work with. These collaborations can be long-term or one time only.
Regardless of who I’m working with, trust and honesty are key. Both sides need to know they can come to me with their uncertainties and concerns but it’s equally important for me to tell them when I think something isn’t going to work – and why.
By Sofie – Wonderful Wanderings
How to Make Money Blogging #4: Photo Creation for Brands
How to Make Money Blogging #5: Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are another great way to make money blogging, grow your blog and scale your online business. One of the easiest places to find sponsored posts is through influencer networks which connect brands and agencies to influencers. Cooperatize is one of my favorite influencer networks. It offers a variety of sponsored post opportunities like press trips, live events, paid gigs, and affiliate programs. However, before accepting a sponsored post opportunity, I recommend making sure that the brand you’re planning to work with aligns with your blog’s brand. Also make sure it addresses your audience’s unique needs and interests.
By Danielle – The Thought Card
How to Make Money Blogging #6: Amazon Affiliates
I am obsessed with Amazon for my own shopping (hello, prime 2-day shipping!!). So the Amazon Associates program was a natural first choice into the world of affiliate marketing. Amazon affiliate links fit nicely into posts about travel gear and accessories, packing lists, and gift guides. Amazon is definitely my highest performing affiliate. The reason is that you get a commission whenever someone uses your link to buy ANYTHING on Amazon. 95% of the purchases my readers have made have had absolutely nothing to do with the products I was recommending! That is the beauty of this affiliate program. Along those lines, it’s important to get readers to actually click your links, so don’t put the widgets with the prices included. You will not be doing yourself any favors!
By Kate – Tear Free Travel