The Ultimate Guide on How to Make Money Blogging in 2021
If you’re trying to figure how to make money blogging, you’ve come to the right place. In reality, I want to make it very clear from the outset: in this 10,000+ word guide, I'm not just going to show you how to make a few hundred dollars a month, or how to make some pocket money with advertisements.
My aim here is completely different: I want to teach you how to create a blog and transform it into a profitable business. A full-time business that enables you make more than $10,000 a month – and a lot more if you're willing to work.
To start with, monetary investment is minimal (at least compared to other types of businesses!) and the potential of a blogging business is literally huge.
My aim in this epic guide is to share all the monetization tactics that you can use to develop this business and make it profitable.
How to create your blog's sales funnel.
How to make a monetization strategy for your blog.
Most importantly, how to start earning at least $10,000 a month from your blog in 90 days.
I will mention all the best blog monetization tactics in great detail (and if it's the right solution for you, as well as how much you can make from each strategy!). Here are 10+ different monetization tactics that you can start implementing right now. Just use this guide to choose the right solutions for your business blog.
I’ll even show you with specific examples, how much you can potentially make of each blog monetization strategy, so that you can decide for yourself whether it's the right course of action for your blog.
Prepared to become an online entrepreneur?
Why do other bloggers struggle?
A lot of people around the world are making money blogging, some are making pocket money here and there, while others are building a business out of their blog and making up $200k a month (and some, a lot more out of their blogging business.
So, yes, it is possible.
But although there are a lot of examples of people who make it, there are even more examples of people who don't. In my experience, if you want to be in the first category of people, then you need to understand why the latter is failing.
You'll find out a lot about this online; and most of the content on this topic says pretty much the same thing, over and over with slightly different words, but from several different sources:
Well, in my opinion?
None of these reasons are true when it comes to blogging for money or blogging for business.
They may be true when it comes to those who strictly use blogging as a side project or a hobby, but not when it comes to those who want to turn blogging into a full-time job.
First, there's passion: do you really have to be passionate about what you're writing about?
Simply put, no.
Sure, it's vital to like what you're doing to some extent (you're going to be working a lot of hours doing it so if you hate it, it might not be the best option!)
What you need instead is to be incredibly knowledgeable about the topic you choose.
Just as importantly, you need to discuss a topic that has a broad enough audience and a ready-to-buy audience.
What about the quality of the content?
Quality is obviously very important. You can't make grammatical errors every few sentences or create content that is difficult to read or understand. But while quality is important, it's not all about content.
You can be a wonderful writer, write amazing content, but if it's not the right topic, or if you don't give real, practical advice, or if you don't know how to promote and monetize your blog, it doesn't matter.
Your blog will fail as quickly as if your writing was awful.
As for standing out/creating "different" and "unique content?
For every topic and every niche you think about there are dozens, even hundreds (and in some popular niches, probably a lot more) of blogs that do exactly the same thing.
If you read that much blogs in the same niche, you’ll see it too: everybody is copying everybody. So instead of trying to stand out and do something entirely new, pick a niche and do it better. Study your competition, read the other blogs in your niche, and try to be better than them. Be more open than them, be more honest and give your own unique perspective on things.
But if these aren't the reasons why bloggers fail, which are they?
In my experience, this is one or both of two reasons:
- You’re not putting in the work
- You don't know how to monetize your blog, and you don't think about your blog as a real business.
If you expect blogging to be a quick and easy way to make money, you'll be disappointed. Like with any business, you've got to get to work.
A lot of people might go into blogging thinking that if they write enough amazing content, they're just going to get the opportunities
How to find the best niche for your blog business
As I told you earlier, one of the most critical aspects of creating a profitable blogging business is to select the right niche. In reality, this is the first thing you need to think before you get to the actual money-making strategies that you're going to use to monetize your blog.
If you've not chosen the right niche, you're not going to make the money you want to make, because there's just not enough money to make if the clients aren't there. Or if the customers you target don't make enough money to buy more than a few one-off low-ticket items.
For example, Smart Passive Income is a great example of a highly popular niche blog; why is it so successful?
They chose an incredible niche – how to create an online business to produce passive income – and stuck with it all their blogs and resources support this.
Or Making sense of cents, another highly popular financial-focused blog: making online money and saving money:
These are some of the Internet's most popular and high-earning blogs, and one of the reasons for this is that they have each chosen a good niche. In other words, they chose niches that people are very interested in (saving money, making money online, generating passive income, and so on).
So when you choose a niche for your blog, forget about what you're passionate about and focus on what the market actually needs. You need a large enough audience to scale up your blog and as a result, your income. You need to be able to create multiple revenue streams for your blog (never rely on a single revenue stream!)
That's why when choosing your niche, studying the potential audience is the key to success. And if the audience is not sufficiently profitable and can not be scaled, then you can move on to another niche. That’s not to say you're going to have to change it completely; in most cases, it's just a matter of adapting that niche to suit a wider audience with higher spending capacity.
How profitable would your target audience be?
You need to first ensure that they have the purchasing power in order to reach a lucrative, profitable audience. If you can only sell them cheap products – worth anything from a few bucks to a few hundred – it will be very difficult to scale your business and increase your earnings.
The only way to scale this model is by selling a large quantity of your products; and that's really difficult to do. But if you're looking for a larger audience, one with spending power, you can develop a host of different products and revenue streams so that you can generate large sums both through volume and through recurring, high-paying clients.
Let's say that your idea is to show people how to make money online. This means that you can create a host of digital products, such as e-books and online courses. Let's just say that your e-book is $10 and your courses are $100 a pop. That means you need to sell hundreds of these products to make a good deal of money.
And if you're going to scale? Then you always need to increase your sales, and that's very, very difficult to do. There simply aren't enough people to buy your products, and if you don't sell them, they'll all be one-time buyers.
And that just isn't good for business.
On the other hand, if you create up-selling products for these customers as well as high-value, high-priced products such as business consulting services, that means that you can not only make more money, but you can also scale up your business.
So how do you find out how profitable your audience and your niche really are?
First, you need to understand their purchasing power: how much money will your audience spend on products/services, realistically?
As I mentioned earlier, you should not only target people with average incomes, but try to find an audience with real purchasing power and/or audience that you can upsell. For example, you could make half of your money from affiliates and digital goods targeted at people with average income, and the other half (and probably more by providing consulting services to companies and corporations.
Then it's just about using keyword research to see what people are looking for and what topics you should be looking for.
Another way to understand how lucrative a potential audience is – and what kind of monetization tactics you might leverage – is to find out the competition: other bloggers in that niche. Here's what you need to look for:
- How much traffic do they get there?
You can easily check this information on any website or blog using SEMRush
- What kind of products/services do they offer?
Check out their product and service offerings to understand what kind of products/services you can offer, as well as to see what kind of audiences they target.
- Have they published any income reports?
Search their blogs for any "income reports – if they have any, you'll be able to see how much they've done in different months, and in some cases, you'll even be able to see a breakdown of their earnings (some even show how much they've earned for each affiliate product/service they promote)
How do you research market demand for your blog?
One of the most effective ways to understand what your audience is looking for and what they're interested in is to leverage keyword research. And thankfully, it's super accessible, easy to learn and very efficient.
All you need to do is start with a tool; I use – and 100% recommend – SEMrush.
This is something that I suggest you invest in right from the start, as you're going to need it along the way, for several reasons:
- To research keywords
- To help you optimize your SEO blog
- To help boost your search engine ranking (and as a result, your organic traffic, your conversions and your email list!)
- Keep track of and improve your backlinking campaigns
- To study and gain valuable insights from competitors
It's an important investment to make if you want your blog to develop and be profitable. And if you don't target the right keywords, don't get enough backlinks, and don't rank high-quality keywords with huge search volumes, then you won't make enough money from your blog.
It's as simple as that.
Back to the subject at hand, let me show you how to use SEMrush (which is what I use for myself and my blog and clients) to study market demand for your blog and niche. When you log in to your dashboard, you will find all of your various choices on the left side of your screen, including a number of keyword research tools.
The best place to get started is to make a list of keywords that you think your audience will be searching for because your aim is to create a blogging business, the best way to get started is to concentrate on what you can tell them and what they want to learn from you.
That's because, as you'll see later in this guide when we get to all the money-making strategies, the best way to monetize your blog (or the vast majority of them, actually) is to teach your readers how to do something: online courses, e-books, consulting, mentoring, and so on.
Imagine, for example, that you've got a graphic design blog. That's where your blog and products can help. When they google 'how to become a web designer' and find a super-extensive guide that gives them all the juicy secrets on how to achieve their target, they'll click and start reading. If they like your content and find it useful, they're probably going to take the next step – join your list so they can get even more tips and help from you. As they start to connect more with you and read your content and emails, you will start selling your items to them: online courses, training lessons, your e-book, and so on.
But it all actually begins with them actually finding your content.
But more than that, you just need to know that there are enough people who want to learn what you can tell them. Where there are not, you can try to find another niche or broaden your niche so that you can also reach businesses with a much greater purchasing power.
Keyword study is necessary for both of these tasks. So, as I said earlier, you need to invest in a good SEO tool right from the start. There are also numerous free keyword research tools out there, yes; but, and this is a big one, but they're not nearly as accurate as the paid tools. And if you're serious about building a business out of your blog, you need to know exactly how many people are looking for those keywords.
But back to SEMRush, here's how to properly research keywords.
The tool immediately tells you what the search volume is for that particular keyword; in this case, it's about 1900 searches per month. When you scroll down, you will also be able to see "phrase match keywords" – i.e. other keywords that people are searching for along with their search volume) that contain your initial keywords:
Plus, you can also view related keywords and that’s where the real value is.
I suggest that you export this list of keywords so that you can analyze it in depth, as it will help you discover other good keywords to rank and give you better ideas.
For example, one can assume that "graphic design courses" have 3,600 search volumes, while another 1900 searches for "learn graphic design" and that's just at first glance.
But can you actually rank on the first page for those keywords? Or is that too competitive?
That may be another issue; if there are a lot of major, high-level sites that are already claiming the first spots on those google searches, it can be very difficult to overtake them and get the top spot.
Back to the main research keyword dashboard, you can see the live organic search results that appear on the first page for that search query (organic applies to all results that are not paid ads that normally appear at the top of the search):
The idea here is that you want to eliminate search queries that only have extremely popular websites in their first page search results; sites like Wikipedia, Wikihow, Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Next Web and the like have millions of visitors and huge domain authorities which makes it extremely hard although never impossible to surpass them in search results (domain authority, traffic and the number of backlinks are some of the most significant aspects for Google deciding which pages appear in search results apart from their significance to the initial search query, of course).
But in this particular case, there's room for your blog, as well, because not all the results are super popular websites.
This "exercise" is very useful for understanding potential market demand, as well as when researching:
What content to write for your blog
What kind of content you can provide as part of your blog's opt-in
What issues to discuss in your webinars and online courses
What kind of consulting/mentoring/coaching services people are interested in?
In other words, you need to leverage keyword research for both your blog and the products you're creating to sell.
Furthermore, as you will see later in this guide, you will also need keyword research tools to help you deliver different types of services to your clients (e.g. editorial calendars and content marketing strategies).
Building a blog that makes money
If you want to make money from your blog, you need:
- Quality, consistent traffic
- A good strategy for backlinking
- A really powerful opt-in
- Amazing SEO (search engine optimization)
We've already discussed the importance of good SEO and ranking for the right keywords, but what about the rest of them?
Blog traffic is a very important part of your success.
But it doesn't necessarily generate huge amounts of traffic; it's all about attracting the right traffic. In other words, to get the traffic that is likely to convert.
And that essentially goes back to good SEO: if you rank for the right keywords that also have a high search volume, then you have a multitude of high-quality traffic streams to rely on.
Backlinking is also an integral part of a successful SEO strategy; you need to constantly look for quality backlinking opportunities from other niche sites.
Not only will this help you increase your traffic, but it will also increase your confidence in your website for example, when I started writing for Forbes as a writer, I started receiving emails immediately, multiple times a day from people asking about working with me in diverse capacities).
Not to mention, creating backlinks from quality websites would dramatically boost your SEO and help improve your search queries rankings.
Another really critical part of your blogging strategy is to have a good opt-in to draw people to your email/subscriber list.
This is going to be a huge help, and the faster you start, the better. In fact, you should have your opt-in ready (and a bunch of very high-quality content) from the start of your blog. Opt-in needs to be a free, highly useful piece of content that will attract a significant portion of your target audience; for example:
- E-books and long, super-comprehensive guides
- On-line courses
- Checklists, templates and other similar resources
Is the Money Blogging concept real?
Of course, you can – there are a lot of instances of highly successful bloggers earning more than $5-10k a month easily. The secret blogging can work so well as a business is that there are a multitude of ways to monetize your blog, from low-ticket items worth up to a few hundred dollars to costly high-ticket items worth thousands of dollars.
In this epic guide, I'll cover all the best ways to transform your blog into a highly profitable business.
If you know what your niche is and what audience you want to attract, use the information given in this guide to find the best ways to monetize your blog and expand your business.
There is however, one famous blog monetization strategy that is not covered in this guide, namely blog advertising.
Because they're not a sustainable strategy to create a scalable business – at least, not if you're immensely popular and get a lot of traffic every month.
In theory, it sounds so simple: you write great content, drive traffic to your blog, place a few advertisements on your site, and the money is just going to start rolling in. But in reality, ads are among the worst ways to monetize your blog, for a number of reasons:
- The money is not that great: to make any decent money from blog advertising, you have to create massive quantities of traffic and very few blogs and online publications do that.
- They're distracting and affect the faith of your readers: people really don't like ads. Period. And a lot of blog ads are incredibly annoying; I can't tell you how many websites I left after a few seconds (and never came back!) because I couldn't get away from their ads or even read their content without ads covering half of what I was trying to read.
- Not to mention, you can not always monitor what advertisements appear on your blog and that can further affect the trust of your readers.
- Ads keep your readers from converting: do you want users to opt in to your list? Buy your e-book or your online course? When ads cover your website with their own calls for action, your conversion rates will be significantly affected by the simple fact that there are several calls for action that catch your readers' attention. Plus, as I said in the previous paragraph, ads also affect trust – and where there is no trust, there is no purchase either.
My recommendation is to stay away from ads and focus on monetization tactics that actually deliver results (unless you just want to make some side money every month – in that case, advertising might be the right solution for you at least if you get a minimum of 200k visitors per month).
As well as you’ll find out about all of those tactics right now. My goal here is to show you all the best ways to make money from your blog so that you can see a big picture and choose the right options for your own idea.
Monetizing your blog: build a sales channel
In order to effectively monetize your blog, you will also need to create a clear, logical sales channel that turns people from readers to customers; here's how:
- Create some amazing pieces of content (about 4-6) to get people to your site. That means creating something truly high-quality, that gives real value to your audience and that is well-optimized for SEO (and targeting high-volume keywords that you can get top spots for as I showed you earlier)
- Once you get people to your website, you need to convert them: and you do this by creating a good opt-in (as I've shown before); once again this needs to give your audience a really good value, i.e. a strong piece of content that helps them solve the problem they face.
- Once they opt-in to your list, it's time to send them a sequence of emails designed to engage them further, keep them interested, and ultimately get them to buy from you.
- Your sales funnel must be tailored from this point on, depending on the type of products and services you produce and sell.
But generally speaking, the best step is to sell them a cheap, low-ticket item; something that doesn't require a huge investment from them or too much trust, like an e-book, an online course or a webinar, or any other similar product that doesn't cost them more than $30-$100.
Monetizing your blog: timeline suggestions
As with any business, you should plan your monetization tactics ahead of time. Set clear objectives that you want to achieve and create monetization plans to help support these objectives.
Here are some monetization plans with timeline suggestions that you can get started right now:
Monetization Plan 1: The Teacher
Step 1: Create a powerful opt-in, build an email list and start creating an online course and sell it through your website and a teaching platform (e.g. Thinkific)
Step 2: start providing high-end consulting, coaching and mentoring services
Step 3: Develop a membership site and charge people for access to premium content
Monetization plan 2: The Seller
Step 1: Develop a solid opt-in, create your email list and start selling affiliate products and services on your blog and email list.
Step 2: set up an online dropshipping store and start selling products
Step 3: start selling your own products which include books and merchandise
Monetization plan 3: The Blogger
Step 1: Build a powerful opt-in, build your email list, and start selling sponsored content and product reviews.
Step 2: Build podcasts and selling podcast sponsorships
Step 3: provide freelancer services, such as content writing services, search engine optimization services, social media marketing, etc.
Of course, you can always mix and match the tactics outlined in this guide to suit your niche, as well as your own capabilities. But as you can see, everything starts with your opt-in and of course, your overall blog content.
Now let's get into each blog monetization strategy, where you can find out:
- Whether it the right solution for your blog business
- How much you can possibly make from each strategy
- How to get started with each strategy and what tools to use
- When you can get started with each strategy i.e. whether it works from the start or whether you should wait until your blog grows).
Then choose the strategies that would work best for the business model of the blog and start making the money:
Directly on the blog
In this section we're going to cover how to:
- Get your sponsored blog content
- Write and create reviews of the product and get paid
- Promote affiliate products;
Get sponsored content
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much money can you earn from it? You will easily make about $1,000—2,000 a month if your domain authority is big enough at least 35, 40 DA)—and theoretically, a lot more! (Personally, I use supported content earnings to pay for those little bits: hosting and other website fees, tools and software I use, and other lower monthly fees)
When can you get started?
You can provide this service from the start, but you probably won't get a lot of requests (or get paid more than $10 or so until your domain authority grows along with your traffic. As your blog becomes bigger and more popular, people are going to want to get their links on your blog. What's more, brands will want to be advertised on your blog so they can meet their target audience.
That's where sponsored content comes in: advertisers and websites (often operating through agencies) will want their links on your blog, and as you grow up, they'll start coming directly to you for this service.
There are a variety of ways you can go about it:
- People reach out to you about being featured on your blog and give you content with a link they want to add (which they pay for of course)
- In certain instances, they only want a link to be inserted in one of your existing articles.
- Or, brands will pay you to write paid content to your blog, explaining you how they want to be featured on the blog.
This is one of the simplest, fastest way to make money from your blog and a lot better than daily advertising – and there's very little effort on your part. Not only that, but these requests also come to you directly. However, you will need to be popular in your niche, preferably with a high DA/DR (domain authority/domain rating).
After all, why would anyone else want to be featured on your blog if not for the publicity – and of course, for the quality of the backlink?
But the best news is that as your blog begins to grow and your niche begins to pay attention, your requests will begin to roll in...such as
What is the guest post price?
Are you taking supported posts?
These types of subject lines will be present all over your inbox, particularly when you reach the 40 DA mark.
But how much money can you successfully make from sponsored content on your blog?
Well, actually, quite a bit. In reality, you can easily make enough every month to pay for all the costs of your website (hosting, content creation, etc. and keep a few bucks.
So what about pricing – how much should you charge for sponsored posts and links?
- Consider your domain ranking, it is typically the most important factor when it comes to pricing; the greater your domain, the more people pay for links and content.
- Use different pricing for different services; try to predict how much work you may need to do with each form of sponsored post (including your contact with the client, as it can take a lot of time!), your domain authority, and price it accordingly – as your DA increases, so that your prices can increase.
- Prepare for a lot of haggling – almost everybody does it when it comes to supported posts, so I'd suggest you carefully consider when it's worth continuing and when you should quit (i.e. when it seems impossible that they'll pay your price or even come close to it you might waste hours of haggling when they could be of better use for another project!
Write and sell reviews of product on your blog.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much can you earn from it? As with sponsored posts, it depends a lot on your impact and your domain authority. That being said, if you have a 40+ DA and a decent traffic, you might theoretically make up $5,000 a month (or even more than that for bigger blogs!).
When can you began? When you've got enough traffic/a large enough email list. In my experience, brands will not pay for product reviews until they can see the potential for return – i.e. clicking back to their site and engaging/social sharing.
Quality product review on a popular blog is an extremely powerful way for products to advertise themselves; and not only brands, but also books and services – as long as it's something that's important to your readership and is a quality product/service that you, too, will use, it's a perfect match.
In my opinion, product reviews are wonderful because they support everyone involved:
- Brands advertise their products and services to their target markets, increase their traffic on their sites, increase brand awareness and even drive conversions and sales.
- You get to earn money
- Readers can get a nice tool/software/book/service/etc. This is very important to them and to their needs or wants.
If you've been following my blog for some time, you've probably noticed that I'm a big fan of product reviews. For one thing, it's something I'm extremely excited about trying out new tools and apps and of course, writing about them!
I've been doing this for years, and the service has also expanded and evolved over this time. And over time, I have also seen a very significant increase in demand for this service.
Even a few months ago, I just began to reach out to software tools; before that, almost all of my product reviews were the result of direct enquiries from brands.
If you want to get the ball rolling as soon as possible on product reviews, you can do so simply by contacting the appropriate tools, brands and services directly. Describe what they’ll get from your product review services, what kinds of results they can expect and take the time to personalize the email outreach. It can deliver amazing results and help you get at least a few reviews every month.
As far as the price of your product reviews is concerned, it depends a lot about what you have to deliver (how broad your audience is on social media, how many readers you have, what your domain authority is and so on); plus, you can change these fees as you go along and learn more about the process and the types of outcomes that brands can expect from your product review service.
Join affiliate programs
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much can you earn from it? It depends a lot on your readership – how many people are reading your blog and how many are actually taking action (so it's really important to have a very high-quality, high-volume traffic, as well as a strong email list of subscribers). Depending on these variables, you could do anything from $20 a month to $40,000 and more.
When can you began? You can get started with affiliate marketing as soon as you want but the fact is, it might take a while (i.e. before you build up your audience, your email list, and build up your confidence in you as well to make good money from affiliate marketing.
There are several advantages of joining the affiliate programs:
- You can get started and start making money right away.
- There's a massive opportunity to make a lot of money
- You won't have to develop your own products and services to start making money
- There are a number of tools, software, brands, products and services set up by affiliate programs. All you've got to do is sign up and start advertising them!
The concept behind affiliate programs is that you support a range of services and products and make money by guiding blog readers to their websites and landing pages.
Each affiliate programme is different in terms of how much you can earn and how you earn that money, but that's the essence of the strategy.
Essentially, to get started, you just need to start joining affiliate programs for services and items that are important to your target audience.
Then start promoting them on your website and on your email list; as you do it more and more, you'll learn what works and what doesn't work for your specific blog/reader, what kind of products your audience likes and the products they offer.
Some of the best affiliate programs available for you to get started:
- Amazon Affiliate Program and Amazon Influencer Program
- eBay Partner Network
- CJ Affiliate
And of course, there are also a huge variety of brands selling their own affiliate programs – SEMRush, Bluehost, Canva, OptinMonster, ConvertKit, and several others.
Once you've signed up with a variety of affiliate marketing programs, the next step is to encourage these links. There are a variety of ways you can promote these affiliate links:
Your blog: this is the perfect place to start promoting the items you work with; there are a variety of strategies that you can use such as: creating a guide/article and including relevant tools and services in (as you can see in this guide); developing product reviews to show readers why they are so valuable; creating a list of tools/products/services/books/etc.; creating videos on how to use products.
Your email list: your email list is one of your most important resources; you can use it not only to bring more traffic back to your blog but also to sell your products and advertise your affiliate links. Make sure that you only advertise the items you have used, that you know they have performed well and that you honestly feel that your audience will benefit from it.
On social media: social media isn't what it used to be mainly because it's so crowded that it's really hard to build a strong, committed followership. Not to say it can't be achieved, It's only more complicated than it used to be years ago. Around the same time, though, social media is an important platform for bloggers. For one thing, it helps us produce the majority of our traffic (social media should be right in terms of traffic generated in search engines!) and for the other, it's a perfect forum for marketing your products, as well as the affiliate products you work with.
Place banners on your website: another successful way to advertise affiliate products on your site is to place banners; to maximize banner clicks, make sure they are highly targeted; if you have a web design blog, for example, then promote a product that is important to web designers, and so on.
In this segment, I'm going to cover how to:
- Develop and sell courses online
- Create and sell webinars
- Write and sell your e-books
Develop innovative online courses
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much money would you earn from it? It depends, but you might probably have a steady income from selling online courses of around $1,000 a month (though it's worth mentioning that there are some bloggers out there who literally make hundreds of thousands and even millions by sales generated by selling online courses).
When can you get started? Right now! You can post it on your website, advertise it to your email list, and join teaching networks to sell it and reach a wider audience. Another common and successful monetization strategy for bloggers is developing and selling online courses. After all, you have the expertise, you have the audience, so why don't you monetize the knowledge and skill?
Online courses are also a fantastic source of passive income – once you build your course, you can sell it on your website, on your email list and on a number of teaching platforms, and just sit back (and concentrate on other monetization tactics).
Many bloggers report such greater numbers; for example, Smart Blogger makes much of their money from online courses and workshops: over $1 million a year.
Of course, not everyone can make that much money from an online course; but since the market is big and demand is there it means that you can certainly make a good enough monthly price from selling an online course.
But how are you going to build a course that sells?
- Know who you're targeting: the first thing you need to do is make it clear who you're going to be targeting for your online course. This way, you will find out exactly what their needs are and build content on subjects that your audience really wants to learn more about (and are therefore willing to spend their hard-earned cash on)
- Is there enough demand for it? Like when planning your blog, you should first make sure that there is enough demand for your online course so that you can keep selling it year after year with some updates depending on the subject)
- Look at your own blog: what are your best-performing content pieces? This will tell you a lot about the needs and desires of your audience
- Perform keyword research: just like I showed you earlier how to use keyword research to come up with your blog business idea, you can use the same techniques to figure out what people are looking for and build courses on those topics.
- See what others are doing: check out online teaching platforms such as Udemy to see which online courses are most popular in your niche. Make sure you try out some of them, too, so you can find out how much better you can be than them!
As we've seen before, online courses can be incredibly lucrative for your online business; in reality, you could easily create a highly profitable business on the back of online courses.
If you're serious about taking this path, you're also going to need a tool to help.
Personally, I'm recommending Kajabi because they have all the features you need to develop, run and promote online courses (I've also written an in-depth overview of their tool here if you want to learn more).
You might use it to:
- Create/design landing pages for your online courses (and you can do it by yourself, even if you don't have a design experience; just customize the template to your taste and you're good to go!)
- Set up trial payments, one-time payments and various payment plans (e.g. subscriptions for your viewers) and integrate with Stripe and PayPal to make it easier for your attendees to pay.
- Build and host online courses
- See reports to monitor your clients, your sales and the engagement of your viewers with your online courses.
- Using email marketing software to connect to your audience and subscribers, as well as set up automatic sequences to upsell your clients.
- CRM (customer relationship management) tool to help you track and tag all your clients, leave notes and basically everything you'd expect from CRM.
Create and sell webinars
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much money can you earn from it? Most definitely, less than you would have done with online courses; the fact is while webinars used to be very popular, they're all too common at the moment. That said if you create a solid, broad and loyal readership for your blog, you can make some extra money every month by creating and selling a webinar. Webinars are now best suited to draw people to get them to opt-in and then use them to sell something else to your viewers.
When are you going to get started? Right away, but not necessarily to sell them, but to build up your list and eventually, to try to sell something else to your viewers.
Webinars are somewhat similar to online classes, but they usually happen live (and are then reused and reused in a number of ways, usually as an opportunity or an opt-in to help you generate more leads). And they're not necessarily money-makers, either unless you use them as a separate type of online courses.
There are a range of ways to use webinars to make more money for your blogging business:
- Charge the admission fee for your webinars: much like online classes, if you have the expertise and skills that people would like to learn, they'll be willing to pay you to teach these stuff .In this case, you will charge a fee for your live webinar. However one of the problems with this approach when you're just starting out is that you do not have the confidence or trust required to persuade people to pay for your webinar instead of an established expert; but when you expand your blog and become known for your experience and expertise, people may be able to cash out their hard-earned cash for a session with you.
It's important to remember here that if you plan to market your webinars, you can use a tool to assist with the financial side of things and most importantly, to ensure your audio and video are of good quality.This way, you can integrate with payment processors to make the whole payment process simpler.
I've personally done a lot of webinars over the years (for myself and others) so, as you can assume, I've tried pretty much all the popular tools on the market.
So if you want to start selling webinars, I would suggest using a tool like ClickMeeting – particularly if you want to do it on a regular basis. You can use it for paid webinars, online courses, training sessions, online events... plus, you can also stream live on popular social networks (which makes it so much easier for your viewers, as these are the most popular online channels).
You'll also get a lot of useful features to help you make money off your webinars and make them even better and more engaging by using social features such as polls and surveys and incorporating calls to action.
Plus of course, it helps you to connect with payment providers like PayPal so that you can actually sell your webinar tick.
- Use webinars to promote your online courses: the online course market is big, but to get people to pay for your online courses, particularly if you're not that well-known you need to effectively promote your online course and convince your audience that you have what it takes to teach them. Webinars are a fantastic way to help you accomplish both; you get people to take part in your free webinar (which you can promote with advertising, on your site, on your social media and on your email list) where you give them a taste of what they're learning from your webinar and then get them to join your online courses.
- Offer your other services on the back of your webinar: webinars are excellent promotional tools when used correctly; while this is not a direct way to make money from webinars, it can help you make a lot of money from your blogging business. The idea is simple: you give value in your webinar and use it to market your other services for example, your consulting, coaching and mentoring services or your freelance services. Let's assume that you had a blog about web design and web development and decided to create more web design clients; in this situation, you should create a webinar about how to create a website that converts and then use it to promote your web design/web development services so that you can build your website for them.
- Get paid for hosting webinars for other publications: organizations are willing to pay thought leaders and influencers to build and host webinars for them. However, while it's a decent way to make some extra money, it's not exactly a reliable stream of revenue.
Write and sell e-books
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much can you earn from it? Not that much; like webinars, e-books aren't what they used to be, because everybody (and their grandma!) is developing e-books, some giving them away for free and some selling them. That said there are still instances of highly successful bloggers who can make thousands of e-book sales (but they're really rare!); a better chance is to leverage e-books as an additional source of passive revenue every month for some pocket money.
When can you start? Right now!
E-books, as I said earlier, are not what they used to be. To be entirely honest with you, it's impossible for you to make more than a few hundred dollars a month in e-book sales.
For e.g., Ryan Robinson, a highly popular blogger, writer, and affiliate marketer, makes about $200 a month of his book sales:
But while you may not make a lot of money from e-book sales, that's not to say they're still not really useful tools. Getting a book in your arsenal, particularly if you manage to get the bestseller status, can really help with your niche reach and also help raise your audience's confidence in you. After all, writing a full-length book is not something that anyone would do.
Not to mention, it's still an extra source of income, even if it's not that much and, as I mentioned earlier, diversifying your portfolio and building several revenue sources is the way forward. After all if anything happens to either of them, you're always going to be able to make some money when you're trying to repair things/find another source of monetization.
Educate others what you know and make money
In this portion, I’m going to cover how to:
- Provide mentoring services
- Provide coaching services
Provide mentoring services
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much can you earn from it? It depends on what kind of clients you're dealing with high-end clients are paying thousands of dollars a month, but you might also deal with small business owners, young and upcoming entrepreneurs, advertisers, and so on who won't pay as much (but can still be worth it!).
When can you start? Right now! That said it's going to be much easier to get high-end clients when you have the experience (and the testimonials)
Mentoring someone and helping them develop and evolve can be a very strong, very rewarding experience, both for you as a mentor and for the mentor. It's something I've been doing (along with coaching and consulting) for years, and it's always one of my favourite things to do. Plus, it can also be a lucrative business; however, it can be difficult to find mentoring clients.
As I mentioned earlier, mentoring usually occurs one-on-one with a mentor (who has expertise, skills and experience) helping the mentor learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and enhance his or her life and career. In my view, it's very much a mutually beneficial relationship; it's not only the mentor that gets benefit out of this partnership, but you too can build up your leadership skills, your communication skills, and even your own experience.
Provide coaching services
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much can you earn from it? Like mentoring, it depends on what type of clients you're dealing with; high-end clients are paying thousands of dollars a month, but you can also deal with small companies who won't be able to pay as much.
When can you start? Right away! Like mentoring and consulting, it's hard to get high-end clients if you don't have enough experience/testimonials to prove your value to them but if you get the impressive results from your blog, that might be all the experience you need!
Coaches, as we've seen before, are all about enhancing results, whether it's for a single person or a whole team. In reality, if you're not sure what a coach is doing just think of your favourite sports team coach. The relationship is very similar, whether we're talking about sports, life, relationships, or business.
Simply, a coach helps you get the results you want. A football coach helps you win games and competitions; a career coach helps you get better job prospects; a marketing coach helps you to improve your marketing results; and so on.
Luckily, coaches are required through industries and also for personal reasons (such as life coaches, relationship coaches, spiritual coaches, etc. for example, here are some of the most common types of coaches (except those just mentioned):
- Career coach: helping people improve their careers, planning out their future careers and getting better jobs
- Executive Coach: Managers and executives find themselves needing to learn new skills when joining these new roles – coaches will help them with their leadership skills, productivity and other related executive skills.
- Leadership coach: when you become an administrator, you need to learn how to handle teams and improve productivity; but when you step up the ladder and become a leader, you need to manage much larger teams (or rather the leaders of those teams) and manage increasingly complex projects.
- Accountability coach: all of us want to reach those goals – but we also always need someone else to drive us: and that's where accountability coaches come in.
- Strategic Coach: the creation of a strategic plan from scratch is a lot of hard work. Strategic coaches will then come in to support the specific organization to build a high-quality strategy; in addition, they can also help clarify and execute these techniques throughout the company.
- Business coach: this can be a very lucrative business, as there are often entrepreneurs and new companies who need support to start up or expand and scale.
How to make money from your blog with freelancing:
In this part, I'm going to cover how to:
- Get paid to write for someone else
- Provide search engine optimization services
- Provide Design, web design and web development services
Get paid to write for someone else
Is it worth it? Somewhat.
How much can you earn from it? Not that much; there are a lot of services out there that offer very cheap content writing services, and there are so many freelance writers out there that only charge about $0.04 per word; so if you can only get quick cheap writing jobs, you won't make a lot of money (especially compared to how much it takes you to write content); but, if you have some amazing content that really stands out some companies might pay you for very high quality content.
When can you start? Right now!
This can be a really lucrative gig if you can get some recurring monthly clients to write content every month; otherwise, it's too hard to make a real living from it if you focus on occasional writing jobs.
To be honest with you, you're going to have to spend a tremendous amount of time trying to get new clients for the reason I mentioned earlier: the competition is fierce.
And in order to make money from content writing, you're going to have to write a lot of content; for example, take a look at Carol Tice, who made $5,100-5,200 a month, but wrote 58 blog posts to get that result. That doesn't even count the blogs that she has to write for her own blog.
Let's say one article takes you about 2 hours to write a 1200 article; that means it would take you about 116 hours to write 58 articles a month. Almost that's 3 weeks of full-time work, just writing content for others and assuming it actually takes you 2 hours, more complex blogs might take you even longer than that).
In this case, if the articles don't pay enough it might simply not be worth going down this route; however if they pay enough and you can get some more freelance writers to help (say, you charge the client 10 cents per word, and then you pay your freelancers 4 cents per word) then it can definitely be a lucrative business (but as I said, it's hard to get clients).
In terms of gaining clients for blog writing services, you have several options:
- Advertise your writing services on freelancer sites such as ProBlogger and Upwork.
- Create a landing page on your blog to support your writing services (and optimize it for search engines too!)
- Set up a cold email campaign and start to reach out to the brands that need your services.
- Find blogs that pay writers to write for them though they usually don't pay a lot, even if it's a very big and popular website)
- Contact marketing agencies that might need writers for their clients to promote your own writing services (i.e. the agency finds clients, gives you a brief from the client, and writes content for them)
Hence, as you start growing your blog and becoming more popular in your niche, especially if you have stand-alone content, some brands and agencies will come directly to you.
Provide search engine optimization services
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much can you earn from it? You can potentially make up to $3,000-$5,000 a month for one SEO service client.
When can you start? Right now
SEO is currently in high demand for businesses and websites across industries and niches. The reason is because it gives you results, no matter the type of business: if you rank high enough for the right keywords, it can mean a huge increase in organic traffic, leads and even sales for that particular business.
And if your blog delivers positive SEO results – that is, you rank for great keywords and get a lot of organic traffic – then you have all the proof you need that you can help other websites, bloggers and businesses achieve the same results.
Search engine optimization can also be a very lucrative business because demand is so high; what's more, there's a need for any priority for many of these organizations.
Imagine, for example, that you had a restaurant or a café; if you want more people to find out then you need to appear in the relevant search results for your area, otherwise you will lose out to all the competitors who do appear in the results.
B2B companies need it too – they need to be able to generate leads from their content and the most efficient way to do so is to get their content into the right search results.
There are many ways you can start making money from SEO:
- Technical SEO: in other words, you will ensure that the technical factors of the website are relevant (mobile responsiveness, speed of the website and other similar factors affecting the SEO of the website)
- On-page SEO: this implies optimizing all content and pages on the website; this includes optimizing headings and blog posts with the right keywords, as well as other website pages, adding page titles and meta descriptions
- Off-page SEO: this is mostly related to backlinking (i.e. getting backlinks for a website, which in turn improves the authority of that website, along with its keyword rankings)
- Local SEO: this is beneficial to local businesses (such as restaurants and cafés) that want to be featured in the local search results.
- Voice SEO: voice search is growing rapidly, and so is the need for it.
- Marketing of search engines: i.e. improving online visibility of websites
You can start by advertising these services on your website, as well as on various freelance websites, such as Upwork, to promote your SEO services and find clients.
Provide design, web design and web development services
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much can earn from it? You can possibly make up to $5,000-$10,000 per client for web design and web development services (and even more, depending on your project and skills).
When can you start? Right now!
Website design and web development are always in high demand; while there are certainly a lot of services that make it possible for you to create a website on your own, cheap (or even free) when it comes to business websites, these types of services will not work in the long run.
This is where web designers and web developers come in – the first group designs your website and ensures that everything runs smoothly (from ensuring that your website is up to speed to ensuring that it works well on mobile devices as well).
If you've built your website from the ground up and it works well that's your first testimonial right there.
As with previous services discussed in this section, you can find web design and web development clients by posting them on your website, as well as by joining freelancer websites where you can find web design and web development jobs.
Build an e-commerce site and sell physical products
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
How much money can you earn from it? It really depends on your products – but there's a tremendous potential to turn this into a $10K/month business and a lot more.
When can you start?
This is probably the farthest thing you can think of from blogging – but if you really think about it, there can be a close relationship between e-commerce and blogging.
For example, if you have a fashion-related blog, why not monetize your audience by selling related products: your own products (either made entirely by yourself or paying someone else to do so), fashion items from other manufacturers (clothes, shoes, sneakers, etc. and other related products that are relevant to your target audience.
That's why a lot of influencers started selling products themselves. They got the audience and instead of directing them to buy products from someone else, they started selling products so that they could make a lot more money.
To enable a better understanding of what kind of products you can sell on your blog, here are some suggestions:
- Handmade products: if you're passionate about it and have the skills to do it you can start making money from the products you make in your own home (or in a factory as you grow) by selling them through your blog.
- Manufactured products: or do you have the idea, but not the knowledge, to make it happen? In that case, you can get someone else – a manufacturer – to make and produce your products for you for example, some bloggers start producing and selling branded t-shirts and similar products.
- Retail arbitrage: if you can find amazing discount on some certain kinds of products, then you can sell them to your online store for profit.
Making money from your blog is not only possible, but it can be an extremely lucrative business, as you've seen from all the examples of successful bloggers that have been mentioned throughout this guide.
However, if you want to be a truly successful blogger, one that makes more than just a little side money every month, then you have to think of your blog as a business.
You're not just writing for the sake of writing or connecting with readers; instead you're using your blog as a way to build a business.