*This post has been updated as of 9/17
If you’re looking for ways to make money with your blog the good news is, there are plenty of ways available. Some avenues are simple and quick but may only bring the kind of money that will cover your business expenses. Other avenues are right on par with the “Tortoise & the Hare”, reminding you that “slow & steady wins the race.”
This race is the one where you want to make a solid, steady income stream you can count on, regardless of your site’s traffic in a given month. Ultimately, you want to figure out which of the many ways to make money with your blog are best for your particular niche, then roll up your sleeves and get started!
The fastest + easiest ways to make money with your blog from the start (that don’t include straight up affiliate marketing….a long, detailed blog post focusing solely on A.M. is coming soon!)
Online Advertising – Have you ever seen the anagrams PPM or PPC? They stand for Pay Per Impression (why the M?) & Pay Per Click. No matter where you’re at in your blogging career, chances are you’ve heard of Google Adsense. It’s the most popular Ad Network, along with Clicks and/or Media.net from Yahoo/Bing. Each of these Ad Networks are relatively easy to set up on your page and they automatically display ads based on the content the appears on your blog or website. PPM & PPC are simply methods of advertising, i.e., getting paid per click on a particular banner ad that you allowed Google Adsense to place on your website.
When someone clicks on that banner ad, you receive a small fee (and I do mean small, unless your traffic is massive and constant; think pennies per click). BUT it is a great avenue for bloggers just starting out or for anyone who wants to try to cover some small business expenses. It’s not much at first but it has long-term potential and not much is still more than nothing!
Publish an e-Book – If you have a blog, chances are, you’re a writer. At least you’re aspiring to become a good enough writer to get your “niche” message across to your readers. You know when you visit someone’s site and they have a quick one-sheet, usually a PDF with some info about their particular niche and perhaps, how it’s best marketed through social media, etc? Well, you know those other PDFs people have on their site, with enough pages to be considered an actual e-Book? They usually run anywhere from $5-45 depending on the niche, how long the book is and the popularity of the author.
As a writer you’re fully armed with the skill to craft an e-Book of your own. You most likely have knowledge from within your niche, to create and publish your very own written material for money! Maybe you’ve already created a “freebie” download as a gift, in exchange for a reader’s email address and subscription to your blog (if not, you should be doing this!). Regardless if you’ve written a one-sheet already, you’re certainly capable of doing some research on an interesting topic within your niche to write about and you’ll learn something new yourself!
Perhaps you’ve already posted a lot of content on your blog? You can go through all of your posts and pick out as many favorites that are directly related to one another, lay them all out and fill in the blanks to create anywhere from a 15-25 pg (to start) e-Book! You can make money selling your e-Book directly on your site, to your individual readers through your coveted email list or you can independently publish your e-Book on Amazon with Kindle Direct Publishing. Any/all of these methods will not only bring in some decent money on occasion but help build your credibility as a writer too!
Create Merchandise to Sell – If you’re already selling your e-Book on your website, why not sell some more stuff…maybe something that you can create yourself, like a t-shirt, baseball cap, coffee mug, calendar or anything else you can throw your label on! There are several online stores such as Merchify, which will allow you to upload your logo or any other company-related artwork. The company will then produce, manufacture & ship whatever merchandise you choose to sell from your site.
Once you install the software onto your site you can begin creating whatever products of theirs that you want with your brand’s logo (or some funny/cute cartoon with a catchphrase maybe? You’d have to draw it out yourself or have someone else do it but it’s worth it!), then they’ll send it directly to your customer through their “sister store” Shopify. It’s all very cool and completely genius if you ask me!
Become a Brand Ambassador – It’s such an official-sounding title isn’t it, Brand Ambassador?! We’re all BA’s in our own lives, we love certain products or brands and those are the ones that we stick with. From which brand of toilet paper that we always get, to the dishwasher soap we use or the label on our favorite pair of jeans, we “work” for the brands we love every day without even realizing it. Wouldn’t it be so great if we could just contact all the companies that made the things we already love and talk about with ease? They could just send us stuff (that we’re already going to buy) for FREE, then get paid money on top of getting to keep the free stuff?
It doesn’t always work out that way, getting free products AND money, and it may not be Gucci that’s willing to “rock you out” in their latest duds BUT… Target might! Rather, one of their own clothing brands like Mossimo may be willing to send you clothes to wear, then tell your audience how they made you feel, how the material itself felt, the list goes on (and they have some cute stuff!). The most important thing that a name brand is looking for (besides your love & admiration) when bestowing upon you the title of “Ambassador”, is that your blog’s niche market is an audience that is also just as likely to buy their products as much as you are.
Ghost Writing – You’ve heard me talk about ghost writing on several occasions because that’s how I broke into “the biz that is blogging” (wow that was cheesy…I’m getting tired). Pressing on! If you don’t mind not receiving credit for your work as a writer (many writers would never allow such a thing and that’s understandable) but you still get paid, then being a “ghost” is perfect for you!
When I started out writing for money I was a nervous wreck….until I realized that my name wouldn’t be on the content I was producing. If my client liked was I writing and paid me for it, I didn’t care if I sounded lame or too stuffy, etc. Eventually I found my comfort zone within my writing and my voice too. Once that happened for me I decided that I wanted credit on some of the insightful yet hilarious content I was putting out there, while other people were getting the re-tweets and “likes” for my voice! In most cases, ghost writing doesn’t really require a first-person voice (like the one I’m using to talk to you right now) because if it did, that person would want their name on it.
Occasionally, a client really likes the “voice” you give them and in some cases, will pay you more or take you on full-time on order to maintain the voice that’s gaining her (or him) such popularity! Kevin Anderson is a popular name in the GW Biz and here are a few good articles about how to get started or “break into” the ghost writing biz.
I hope you liked at least 2-3 of these 5 avenues to make money with your blog, that aren’t just your “standard” advice to jump right into Affiliate Marketing. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of A.M. and I’ve been putting together a HUGE 2K+ word blog post on the topic. It will have loads of data, quotes from “affiliate money makers” in the Blogosphere and of course, a few products, books, courses & an awesome lineup of AMAZING blog posts from others about the topic of making real money from this proven method.
I just wanted to make sure that you knew of a solid handful of strong backup (or upfront) choices to have in your arsenal when it comes to making money with your blog. There are NO guarantees and if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re pulling your leg and trying to make an affiliate commission (I’ll add some tips on what to look out for when someone isn’t sincere about a product but are just trying to make money). Until then, take a deep breath in and slowly exhale….remember, I got you! This stuff is a lot to process but you have nothing to fear because I will NOT steer you wrong my friend!
P.S., Do a favor? If you have an AWFUL or AMAZING experience with Affiliate Marketing and/or any of the methods that I discussed in this post, would you please tell us all about it in the comments section? I’m always trying to remain one step ahead! Thanks 🙂