How Blogs Make Money? ❘ 5 Ways to Make Money Blogging

Ever wondered how blogs make money? Learn the top 5 ways bloggers are making money. Whether you're just getting started or refining your strategy, these methods are sure to boost your blogging income.

A person with long hair, seated on a couch, is using a laptop featuring an icon of a hand holding a dollar sign on the screen, exploring ways to make money blogging.

So you have decided to start a blog! Congrats!

But you are wondering, can blogs make money? How blogs make money? If this is you, stick around because, in this post I will show you how I and thousands of other bloggers make money blogging… and you will too!

But before we get started, let me clarify a couple of things.

Although I have worked as a lawyer specializing in International and EU Law (LLB, LLM, PhD) for over 15 years and helped more than 30,000 bloggers and online entrepreneurs create their blog legal pages and policies with my plug-and-play legal templates, free legal templates, online courses, an affordable legal bundle for bloggers, and an affordable legal bundle for online business owners, this article is meant for informational and educational purposes only. 

It does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. I will not be held liable for any damages or losses caused by acting or failing to act on the grounds of the content of this article. Should your circumstances require, I encourage you to seek legal advice through other avenues. Please read my full disclaimer for further information.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information. If not otherwise stated, all prices are intended in US$.

When I started my first blog I did it because I needed a creative outlet to keep my mind off some fertility struggles my husband and I were going through at the time… and if you are curious, yes, I’m now a mum, I have a 4-year-old girl named Violet.

But when I asked my sister Marina (who is the cynical one) if she wanted to join me in starting the blog together, her first question was “can we make money from this?” So if you are at that stage, this post is for you.

And if you stay till the end I will also tell you WHEN you should start monetizing your blog!

If you’re in a rush at the moment, don’t sweat it! You can always download this post as a PDF and come back to these tips on how blogs make money later.


Okay, let’s dive in!

Way to Make Money Blogging #1: Display Ads

The first way people make money blogging, and probably the most used way to monetize a blog, is through display ads by joining an ad network.

If you’ve ever clicked on a blog, chances are you’ve seen ads. They’re everywhere, right? Bloggers often start here to make money because it’s straightforward and offers real passive income. Just set it up and let it do its thing.

Ad networks typically pay bloggers based on the number of impressions (CPM) Cost Per Mille – in Italian (which is the cost an advertiser pays for one thousand views or impressions of an ad) or they get paid on the number of clicks their ads get and the metric here is called (PPC) Pay Per Click.

But to get ads on your blog, you usually need to apply and get approved, and sometimes, the requirements can be pretty strict. Usually, new bloggers start with Google Adsense. I did. When you apply make sure you have some original long-form content on your blog, let’s say a few blog posts, and all your legal pages in place, especially a privacy policy, or you might not get approved. 

Once your blog starts getting some traction, you can then migrate to a premium ad network. They usually pay much more than Google Adsense. However, most premium ad networks want to see significant organic traffic to your blog and a minimum number of monthly page views. For example, MediaVine requires a minimum of 50,000 sessions in the previous 30 days and good standing with Google Adsense. 

Generally speaking, if you’re dreaming of a fat paycheck from display ads, you’ll need a pretty high number of page views to make it happen anyway.

Now, there could be another way: that is selling ad space directly to specific companies. Which is great because you get to negotiate rates and all that. But here’s the catch—it’s not as passive as it seems. It can actually be a lot of work.

For me, personally, I’ve steered clear of this channel of monetization for my blogs. I don’t have ads on my blog at all. Because ads can sometimes mess with the user experience, slow down your website, and distract your audience from your main call to action or they can even click away from your website, and at this point in my journey, I don’t feel the need to make money through ads.

If you decide to use this way of monetization, once your blog grows, look for ad networks that require more page views but pay way better, such as Raptive or Mediavine. 

How do blogs make money 5 ways to make money blogging

Way to Make Money Blogging #2: Affiliate Marketing

The next way to make money blogging, and this is one of my personal favourite ways to monetize your blog, is affiliate marketing. 

It’s pretty simple. You promote someone else’s products or services, and when someone makes a purchase through your special link, you earn a commission.

Think of it like this: You become an affiliate for a company or an affiliate network. They hand you a unique link. You can then sprinkle this link within your blog posts, you can share it on social media, send it to your email subscribers (if it’s allowed under the affiliate program terms of service), or basically use it in any legit way you can think of.

The magic happens when someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase. You earn a percentage of the sale, and the best part is, it doesn’t cost anything extra to the buyer. It’s a win-win.

It’s kind of like what we do in real life when we recommend a fantastic restaurant or a cool gadget to our friends. But in this case, we pocket some cash if they decide to buy it.

Now, if you want to become an affiliate for a particular brand, here’s a tip: head over to their website and scout for their affiliate program, usually tucked away in the menu or footer. If you can’t find it, don’t worry, just Google “brand name + affiliate program.”, and it will come up. 

Again, before you apply make sure you have some content on your website and your legal pages, especially your affiliate disclosure. 

Quick heads up: Some affiliate programs might ask about how many followers you have or how many page views you get but don’t let that intimidate you.

Now, many new bloggers kickstart their affiliate journey with the Amazon affiliate program. It’s got its perks: tons of products, universal recognition, and the beauty of it, is that you will be earning commissions on everything someone buys after clicking your link, even if it’s not what you had initially recommended.

But, there are some downsides too – like lower affiliate commissions and a very short 24-hour cookie period, plus the policies and requirements of their affiliate program are very strict but I’ve got another post diving into that.

Here’s a quick tip for new bloggers: instead of juggling different individual affiliate programs, creating a chaotic mess of accounts and logins, and money sitting in different accounts waiting to reach payout thresholds, consider starting with affiliate networks such as ShareASale, Impact, or Clickbank.

The cool thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s a fantastic way to make money because it can turn your blog post into a passive income source. You create the post, and it has the potential to earn you money for years to come.

Want to dig deeper into affiliate marketing? I’ve got another post all about the perfect affiliate marketing strategy. You can check it out here.

Before I move on to the next way you can monetize your blog, if you want to learn more about how to start a blog and make money blogging then make sure you click the image below to get a free guide that will dive deeper into how to create your own blog and get you started. This guide will walk you through the blueprint I used to start my blog that turned into a multiple six-figure business, and comes with in-depth strategies, assignments, and tons of actionable tips, so you don’t want to miss out. You can check it out for free here.

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Way to Make Money Blogging #3: Sponsored Posts

Moving on to the next way to make money blogging, let’s talk about sponsored posts. 

This is when a company pays you to write about their product. It’s a neat way to make some cash as a blogger because you’re doing what you love – creating content – and getting paid for it.

Figuring out how much to charge for these posts can be a bit tricky. But there are some tools and calculators like Social Bluebook that can help you out. They look at things like your traffic, followers, and subscribers and gives you a ballpark figure to start with.

But here’s a twist: sometimes, instead of cash, brands might offer you their product as payment. Now, that can be cool, but you’ve got to think about the value of your time. I’d say go for it only if it’s something you were planning to buy anyway or if it’s a high-value item like a fancy camera, a laptop, or a travel package.

Stick to writing sponsored posts about products that relate to your blog’s topic and products you’ve actually used or tested yourself. Your readers trust your recommendations, so keep it honest and authentic.

Now, the icing on the cake is when you have an affiliate link for the product you’re writing about. That means you can potentially make even more money.

But, and this is important, some brands might not let you use your own affiliate links in sponsored posts. In my book, that takes away from the passive income charm, because you’re trading time for money. If you’re going to do that, I think you should do it for your business not for someone else’s.

To keep things smooth, create a “Work with Me” page on your blog. Lay out your expectations for collaborations, so brands know what you’re all about. This saves you from endless back-and-forth emails and helps filter out the good fits from the not-so-great ones. 

Way to Make Money Blogging #4: Offering Services and/or Coaching

Another way bloggers make money is by offering some kind of service or coaching. 

What’s easier to sell than your expertise? If you blog about a specific topic, high are the chances that you’re an expert in that field, so why not help others by selling your services?

For example, you can offer your services as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, graphic designer, web developer, social media manager, proofreader, copywriter, 1 on 1 coach, anything really!

The downside is that it’s not passive at all, and there isn’t much opportunity to scale it; you basically get paid for the hours that you work.

Legally Blogs 1

Way to Make Money Blogging #5: Selling Your Own Products

Alright, now let me share my absolute favorite way of making money blogging. 

Selling your own products. And the digital ones are the real gems here. In fact, this is how I earn the majority of my blogging income. 

Just like with services, if you’ve got a blog about a certain topic, chances are you’ve got knowledge to share. 

You can turn that expertise into some serious cash by creating things like e-Courses, e-Books, done for you templates, handy tools, printables, or even apps. The possibilities are endless.

Now, this is where bloggers can really rake it in. Sure, it takes some effort to create your product, but once it’s out there, it’s like a money-making machine on autopilot. Plus, your earnings aren’t tied to the hours you put into it.

When you’re just starting out, many bloggers dip their toes into the waters by creating an e-Book. 

E-books are great because they don’t require the same level of completeness that a full-blown course does. Plus, they’re a fantastic way to test if a topic resonates with your audience. Super smart move, especially if you’re not entirely sure what your readers are craving.

Now, here’s my take: if you’re a true expert in something, the best way to help people and cash in on that expertise is by creating a full-fledged course. Think about it. Courses can be more well-rounded. You can beef them up with videos, track your students’ progress, add quizzes and assignments, and keep the content fresh and up-to-date. Unlike e-Books, which are pretty static once someone downloads them.

Also, courses often come with a premium price tag, which means even more passive income. 

When You Should Monetize Your Blog

Now, let’s talk about when to start monetizing your blog. 

So, you’ve probably come across advice from other bloggers saying you should hold off on monetization. They suggest waiting until you’ve racked up more page views and built up an engaged email list.

But here’s my two cents: I say start planning for monetization right from the get-go. Sure, you might not see lots of money  during your first month, but you’ll be setting your blog up for success.

Why? Well, implementing monetization strategies from the beginning has some sweet perks. It helps you grow an audience that’s open to buying from you, lets you figure out what resonates best with your readers, your blog posts will be ready for when you have lots of traffic, instead of having to go back to fix them, and hey, if you actually make a bit of money at the start, not only does it boost your motivation, but you can reinvest that cash into growing your blog even more!

I made $128 dollars in my first month of blogging. Yes, it’s negligible. But I loved it at the time. 

I think for a new blogger the best way to start earning some money is affiliate marketing so make sure you read this post next where I tell you all about my strategy that allows me to make thousands of dollars with affiliate marketing every single month.

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How Blogs Make Money? ❘ 5 Ways to Make Money Blogging

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Lucrezia Iapichino

Hi there! I’m the founder of Blogging for New Bloggers®Tinylovebug®, Legals for Business Owners, and host of the popular Blogging for New Bloggers® Facebook group (36K+ members). Originally from Italy and currently based in Melbourne, I’ve worked as an international lawyer and university lecturer in different countries for over 15 years. I use the combination of my research, teaching, legal, and blogging experience to show new bloggers, just like YOU, how to blog profitably and legally. I started my first blog, Tinylovebug®, at a time when I needed to take my mind off my fertility struggles. Born as a creative outlet, this little lifestyle blog blossomed into a profitable business within the first six months. As the money grew more and more consistent, I went on a mission to empower other bloggers to do the same. Only a few years later, I’m now a mum and have helped over 30K bloggers, podcasters, course creators, coaches, and other online entrepreneurs start and grow their business and protect it legally with my courses and legal templates.  Whether you want to grow your traffic or make money blogging, I will help you achieve your full potential! Take my FREE course - Blogging for New Bloggers Fast Track or my FREE  Legal Course for Bloggers - Legally Blogs™ and set yourself apart from the average new blogger!

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