How to Make Money Blogging in 2021 (The Ultimate Guide)

| | September 13, 2021

Are you thinking of setting up a blog? But not sure how to make money from it?

Frankly, learning how to make money blogging is not easy because you need patience and dedication to build an audience.

Most bloggers start with displaying ads on their blog but you need lots of traffic to make any meaning full income. Would you believe me if I say that you can earn money even if you get small amount of traffic to your blog.

But to achieve this you need the following:

  1. Laser Target Audience
  2. Right Product to Promote to your Audience

Keep reading to find out more in detail.

Is it Possible to Make Money Blogging?

There are tons of blogs in almost all niches, and new ones keep popping up every day. With this saturated market and stiff competition, it is not easy to earn enough money using the traditional ad-revenue platforms.

Even with thousands of page views and unique visitors, these platforms can only earn you a few hundred dollars, which is not sustainable. 

Additionally, relying on a single revenue stream can significantly affect your cash flow if the ad platform decides to terminate your contract or shut down its own business.

As a blogger, you need to think bigger and outside the box. Ads are easy to implement, but you can rapidly increase your cash flow by putting in the extra effort. Eventually, blogging won’t just be a hobby. It will make enough money to be a full-time business.

So, how do you make your blog a reliable source of income? 

Try the following sources highlighted below.

How to Make Money Blogging in 2021

Here are our top picks that can help you get started with additional stream of income every month.

Let's get started.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest practices in marketing, and the concept has not changed. These programs earn you a commission for each sale you drive after promoting products or services from another business.

In the digital space, you can generate high commissions as you sleep from affiliate marketing. The dream job for any blogger, right? However, it is highly competitive, so the only way to hack it is by promoting the right products/services.

Is affiliate marketing worth it?

Of course, your blog must have high traffic, and with this, there are several things you can promote. Some E-commerce platforms, like Amazon, have such a program, and this particular one can earn up to 10% from qualifying purchases.

If you want to earn in excess of 10% as commission, that too is possible in affiliate marketing. You just need to find the right that matches your blog niche.

For example, if you're a travel blogger, you can promote any of these travel affiliate programs to earn commission in the range of 5% to 50%.

Another example is for food blogger. You can find lots of affiliate program related to this niche here. You can earn commission between 10% to 50% by promoting food affiliate programs.

Here is a list of 52 best affiliate programs that are related to niches like travel, health and fitness, food, music, pay per click, dropshipping and others. You can find all information like commission rate, cookie period, payout details and others.

How Affiliate Marketing Works?

The programs work by sharing unique links that track all the transactions occurring after a click, then directs cuts from qualified purchases back to you. To get the most out of it, ensure you get the program that pays the highest commissions and possibly with recurring income.

Recurring income is particularly commonplace when recommending products like email marketing. If your blog is in this niche and you're promoting ConvertKit then you can earn up to 30% recurring commission for any new subscription and future recurring payments. Therefore, you will get monthly payments even if your blog will not make sales later.

The only challenge on your part is to find the right, high-quality products/services that the customer will find worth paying for forever.

You can check out our best recurring affiliate programs to know more about the products/services that pays commission every month as long as the referrals remain their paying customer.

If done correctly, you can make 5 – 6 figures passively. According to PayScale, affiliate marketers make an average of $51,700 annually, and Glassdoor puts this figure at over $65,000.

2. Digital Products

Digital products are intangible assets and are among a growing list of items that bloggers sell online.

They include:

  • eBooks
  • Music
  • Mobile apps
  • Art
  • Podcasts
  • Resume templates
  • Graphic design templates
  • PDF Templates
  • WordPress themes

The list is endless, and you can make money directly from these by selling them on your blog. It all depends on your niche. For instance, if your blog is about Content Management Systems like WordPress and you have the skill to create themes, put them up for sale to your audience.

You can also make money selling eBooks on your blog. There are many popular eBook creator tools that allow you to create eBooks from your existing content like a blog post, Facebook Post or even YouTube videos. My personal favorite is Designrr as it can help you create your eBook really fast as it repurpose your existing content and convert it into an eBook. If you want to learn more, check out my review on Designrr.

Travel bloggers can build galleries in their blogs to put up the images captured during their adventures. They only need a little tweaking photo editing apps, then post them for sale.

Jessie (Jessie on a Journey), a full-time travel blogger, doubles up as a blog coach and teaches content creators the steps to build successful businesses via podcasts.

Though she doesn’t sell the podcasts on her blog, she provides links to her content on iTunes, Spotify, and other streaming platforms, where you must subscribe to access them.

One of the strategies that can help generate more sales from your digital products is linking up with followers on social media. You can distribute some free samples to kickstart conversations and generate interest in your products. When this happens, lead the audience back to your blog.

The goal is to build a network of followers with similar interests, and social media platforms are the perfect place to achieve that.

3. Sell Online Courses

Online courses are digital data, and there are numerous topics to choose from to educate your audience.

You don’t even have to be the creator of the course. Some instructors can pay to have their content promoted by famous bloggers for a commission.

Whichever the case, selling them will:

Scale Your Business

If your blog reaches thousands of people, online courses can expand this audience to an unlimited number. Since most of them are in video format, it is easier for users to follow the content and learn.

Improve Your Blog’s Authority

Putting out courses as an expert/ industry leader in your niche makes you more recognized and respected. Eventually, this will raise your blog’s profile and make it rank higher on search engines. If you’re a graphic designer who is an expert in handling graphic design software, creating graphic design courses could be a great way to get your name out there.

Increase Your Passive Income

As your audience grows and your blog gets a higher web authority ranking, you should expect a rise in income from all the monetization avenues.

However, to enjoy these benefits, you must sell courses that are relevant to your audience.

Generally, most people want to learn how to make money, so this is one of the best topics you might want to consider. It could be “How to make money blogging”, “How to copywrite and make money at home”, How to make money from email marketing, etc.

Many online teaching platforms like Thinkific and Udemy can earn you anywhere from $1,000 – $5,000 monthly, so we recommend posting the courses on your blog and these platforms as well.

4. Coaching and Consulting

Consulting and coaching are not everyone’s cup of tea, but they are crucial avenues for professionals to make money from their blogs. Consulting involves giving expert advice to people working in a specific field.

Think of a finance expert who has vital information from research about the economy and how certain factors can help it overcome inflation. Sharing some of this information on a blog can improve recognition, enabling corporations and governments to reach out for consultation services at a fee.

One such expert is Joshua M. Brown, a financial advisor helping high net worth individuals, corporations, foundations, and retirement plans to manage their portfolios and achieve their financial goals.

On the other hand, coaching requires the services of an experienced person to support a client to achieve a specific purpose.

Most fitness trainers offer coaching services online to maintain more clients and generate higher income. Dr. John Rusin does personalized one-on-one coaching from his blog to help you achieve good health and unlock your performance potential.

If this is something you would consider, make sure to:

  • Define your mission
  • Determine your target audience
  • Get certified to improve trust
  • Productize your knowledge
  • Segment the service (entry-level, advanced goals, etc.)
  • Determine your rate
  • Establish a coaching/consultation channel (usually video conferencing)
  • Market the service
Coaching and consultation are expensive services, so you should put in the work to ensure your clients get value for their money.

5. Display Ads

Display ads is one of the most popular ways to monetize a blog. You just need to sign up as a publisher on ad network (like Google Adsense), get approved and place banner ad codes on your site. These display ads can be in the form of:

Banners

Banners are static ads of simple images with no video or audio. They are not as common nowadays because it is difficult to optimize their click-through rate, translating to low revenues.

Interstitial Ads

These are full-screen placements that cover the entire page during transition points as you navigate through the website. They are widely popular in games/mobile applications but can be used in blogs as well.

Interactive Ads

Interactive ads have embedded functions that allow you to fill forms, play games, respond to a poll, or do other tasks. They give a sneak preview of what the ad leads to and are a great way to engage your audience to generate more revenue.

Video Ads

Video ads are not as commonly used in blogs as they are on video streaming platforms. 360º video ads are more interactive than regular videos but still not as common in content sites. However, it is possible to include them in your blog.

Animated Ads

These are more like video ads but have animated characters instead of real ones. They are ideal for explaining concepts, processes, or narratives.

Expandable Ads

Expandable ads can grow beyond the size of the original ad unit, either when a page loads or after a user-initiated interaction. Lightbox ads are an example of them, and they expand to cover the entire screen when the user hovers the cursor over them for at least two seconds.

How Ads Earn You Money?

To generate revenue from ads, you need to work with ad networks, such as Google Adsense. They can either place graphics automatically on your blog or let you position them manually.

Google Adsense has very strict terms and conditions when it comes to approve a blog/website. If you're not getting approved by Adsense then checked out these best Google Adsense Alternatives. These alternatives has easy approval process and some even pays more than Adsense.

On earnings, they calculate your income either using CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions).

That said, advertising is not one of the best ways to earn revenue. You need at least a million visitors annually for high-paying ad networks to take you seriously. However, combining this with other monetization avenues can add up to a healthy sum at the end of the month

6. Sponsored Content

Sponsored content usually comes as videos, infographics, or paid articles, and it is a great way to monetize your blog, even if your niche is small.

If sponsors find your blog interesting, they can partner with you to market their products/services, which means you write content and get paid for it.

However, for you to attract sponsors, you must be proactive, and the best way to go about this is by:

Setting Up a Sponsor Page

A sponsor page like the one in Tay Talks Money is a professional way to invite pitches from clients.

Contacting Companies

You can also contact companies via their websites to propose your idea. Try to pitch to companies that produce items you already use or like. It will be easier to convince them to partner.

Social Media

Social media can land you sponsoring clients too. If you have many followers and constantly mention brands on your posts, they might contact you to set up the deal.

We recommend creating a professional media kit as well, which should include at least the following:

  • Blog name, URL, and contact information
  • Monthly page views (from Google Analytics)
  • Social media stats (number of followers)
  • Some info about your audience

Consider the kit as a resume for your blog, so put some effort into preparing it.

That said, even as you scout for new clients, make sure their products or services are a good fit for your audience. After landing the right sponsors, create compelling sponsored content that is intuitive, natural, and communicates the purpose of the post.

Here is a live sponsored post on Jessie’s blog that features natural, compelling content. She partnered with brands in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry because it matches her niche.

Wrapping Up

Figuring out how to make money blogging is not easy, but it is possible if you treat it like a business.

The process requires hard work, patience, discipline, and learning to grow the revenue streams and generate sustainable income. All the sweat will be worth it when you get to the top.

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How to Make Money Blogging

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