Complete Beginners Guide: How To Make Money Blogging

Lots of bloggers like to give those “I didn’t even know you could make money blogging” speeches.

But I for one am happy to admit that I started my blog with full intentions on making an income, sooner or later.

And guess what, there’s nothing wrong with that!

As long as you have a why behind you, there’s no reason to be ashamed to admit that you want to make money from your blog.

We’re all newbies here (i’m assuming since you clicked on this post).

So, today we’re going to go over some of the easiest and most common ways to make an income from your site.

Beginners Guide: How To Make Money Blogging

How To Make Money Blogging

1) Brand Deals and Sponsored Posts

This is the most annoying way to make money blogging.

Brand deals are when a brand or company pays you to promote their products on your blog – in the form of a sponsored post.

Ideally, a company will send you a product and pay you for your honest review of said product on your site (again, ideally).

What usually seems to happen is companies want to “pay you” in product or negotiate you down way below your asking price.

Whats worse is that some content creators do accept the product itself as payment and don’t demand any sort of monetary compensation for their work.

This, in turn, makes it harder for other bloggers who understand their value and ask for actual money in exchange for their time and efforts. It lowers brands’ expectations of bloggers and makes it that much harder for others to be taken seriously when naming a price for their sponsored work.

Working with brands is kind of like having a boss.

Some brands have certain guidelines they want you to follow – some even insist on a positive review – even if you end up not liking the product.

Brand deals aren’t all headache but don’t always seem worth it for the amount of time you have to put in for the little return you get in exchange.

They are a great way to introduce new products to your audience while still making money. And it can be fun coming up with different ways to promote and incorporate new products into your content.

However, you do have to worry about looking inauthentic in the eyes of your readers. Too many sponsored posts can annoy them.

You also need a good amount of page views to be able to demand a fair asking price for your sponsored posts.

There’s nothing wrong with valuing your work at a higher price – but you should have the stats (and confidence) to back it up.

2) Affiliate Income

This is the easiest way to make money blogging.

Making money through affiliate income is as simple as recommending products and services you already use.

When you become an affiliate for a company, you get a special link that you can incorporate into your content. If someone signs up for a service or buys a product through your link – then you get a percentage of the income that you brought in for that company or business (and rightfully so).

For example, if you’re a food blogger you could create a page on your blog showing the tools you use to cook with – like pinch of yum’s.

Or if you’re an income blogger you could list all the tools you use to run your blog.

A lot of bloggers in various niches actually incorporate both.

Lets say, a fashion blogger may use affiliate links to link to the pieces they’re wearing in a post. He/she may also get tons of questions about how they run and grow a fashion blog. So they may also become an affiliate for things like their email service provider, hosting company, etc.

Some effective ways to naturally incorporate affiliate links into your content include:

  • going back through old posts and adding in links where you’ve mentioned a product or service
  • writing in depth tutorials
  • creating a resource page
  • creating a “shop” page

The Power of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing isn’t just good for recommending products and services you use. Its also good for getting products you’ve created out there as well.

You don’t have to just join an affiliate program – you can create one!

When you create a product or start offering services you can use affiliates to promote your product within their community and gain access to an audience you may not have other wise been exposed to.

A little Tip: Be generous with your affiliate payouts. Affiliates bring in sales you wouldn’t have received without them so don’t be stingy.

Related: Monthly Income Report Roundup – Proof that you can make $ blogging

3) Ads

This is the most passive way to make money blogging.

Well, that is if you’re with an ad network.

Most networks (like adthrive) do all the work for you & grant access once you hit a certain amount of monthly page views. Mediavine is also another popular network among bloggers and requires 25,000 monthly views to join.

So many bloggers always say they “hate” ads and think its the worst way to monetize. In all honesty, I don’t see the big deal. I don’t think ads are the absolute best way to monetize but every monetization method has its pros and cons.

Ads are perfect for people that don’t want to have to sell anything but still want to make money from their blog.

There are those people out there that simply want to share their content and want the freedom that blogging as a profession creates – but have no interest in creating products or working with brands. In this case, ads are literally perfect for them, but again, it has its caveats.

Ads can slow your website down (a lot!). And you are essentially encouraging people to click away from your site after you’ve spent so much time trying to get them to it.

This is another reason I think Ad networks are the best option if you want to go this route (as opposed to something like google adsense).

Ad networks usually pay by impression (aka views) not clicks. Which is soooo much better than having to count on people’s clicks for income.

Most people are so used to ads that they just ignore them. So its much better (and smarter) to work with an ad network where all you have to do is keep getting traffic to your site with no extra work required.

And contrary to popular belief I find that most people don’t actually mind ads (again, they just ignore them) as long as they’re not intrusive to their experience on your site. So, that means no annoying pop ups.

How It Works

Ad networks usually pay by cpm or cost per mille. Its the rate paid per 1000 ad impressions.

So if you get 100,000 page views with a cpm of $4, then you make $400.

Now, cpm’s can vary a lot, so you’re income is always a bit unpredictable.

Companies are usually willing to pay more for advertising over the holidays (for obvious reasons) but may drop their advertising budgets significantly at the beginning of the year and over the summer as people tend to buy less during these times.

In essence, I personally wouldn’t  recommend solely depending on ads because you’re not in control of it. An ad network could decide to cut your cpm in half at any moment and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Its a great way to make extra income from your blog. Especially if you have no interest in selling or working with brands, but it can be unsteady month to month.

4) Digital Products

This is the most lucrative way to make money blogging.

A digital product is helpful information or content that is completely delivered through a digital platform.

Some of the most popular and common ways you can deliver digital products are in the form of courses, ebooks, workbooks, and workshops.

& those products can be in the format of video, text, images, or a combination of the three.

Digital Products are by far the best way to monetize your blog.

They allow you to grow your own brand.

Ads, affiliate income, and brand deals all involve promoting other brands in one way or another. Which even though can make you money can be somewhat counter productive to some extent.

They’re obviously not bad by any means. But digital products are the only monetization strategy that makes you money by further strengthening and growing your own blog and brand – without depending on any outside sources.

If you have any sort of knowledge or skill set you can pass that knowledge along in the form of digital products and monetize your teachings.

If you want to be one of those six and even seven figure bloggers – this is the way to do it.

And there you have it!

Those are some of the most common monetization strategies bloggers use to turn their blogs into an actual business.

What are some ways you make an income from your blog?




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