Blogging has become a serious business.
You can make money from blogging, like you would from any other venture. Financial Samurai, an investment banker who became a professional blogger, said that nobody would give up a job that pays $750,000 a year unless there was a good chance of making more money from blogging.
Michelle Gardner, from Making Sense of Cents, stated that she earns six figures each month from writing about finance and has already made more than five million dollars since she started her blog.
BuzzFeed generated over $300 million in total revenue in 2018 through sponsored deals, pay-per-view advertising, and eCommerce sales.
It took years for those websites to develop a loyal following, and to be seen as credible sources of information. This resulted in them becoming some of the top earners on the internet.
But smaller websites can make a good profit too.
The average income for an established, full-time blogger is $54,108 per year, with average expenses of $15,895 and profits of $38,016, according to a ConvertKit survey.
Yes, people who work hard can earn a lot of money. To earn a profit, you’ll need to invest the time (and often money) into:
- Setting up your website
- Creating content for it
- Doing SEO to boost your traffic
- Building an audience on social media
- Growing your email list
- Engaging and cultivating a devoted readership
And only then comes the fun money-making part.
How to monetize your website: 13 actionable strategies
Pay Per Click Advertising with Google AdSense
With PPC website owners can earn money each time a reader clicks on one of the ad banners on their site. The most popular way to do this is through Google AdSense.
AdSense is one of the easiest ways to make extra money because it is quick and simple to set up. Also, website owners can apply to be an AdSense partner even if they have more than one website.
Google is providing a lot of support for publishers so they don’t have to worry about setting things up. There are also customer forums and tutorials to help users get started.
So how much will you be getting?
- 68% of the revenue on AdSense for content
- 51% on AdSense for search ads
The best part about Google is that they always pay you on time. Your payment will usually come between the 21st and 26th of the month.
How to monetize a website with Google AdSense:
- Read the Terms and Conditions. Make sure that your website meets all the criteria.
- Proceed to sign up for AdSense and wait for the approval.
- Place the ads anywhere you like on your website.
Selling Ad Space
You can also earn money from advertisements by selling space on your site directly to advertisers. This method may take more time, but you will earn more money from displaying advertisements.
The advertisements can be a link at the bottom of the page, side banners, or small pop-ups. You can also negotiate the price for each advertisement.
This method is only useful if you have a high conversion rate and a lot of traffic. Advertisers will pay you based on how many people click on the ad or visit the site.
How do you let advertisers know that you are selling ad space?
- Make a media kit – a summary that outlines the statistics and key facts of your website.
- Send it to potential advertisers. Let them know why they should work with you.
- When you’ve landed your group of advertisers, manage them using Google Ad Manager.
There are a few different online tools that you can use to get information about your website. Clicky Web Analytics, Quantcast, and Google Analytics are all great options.
If you’re having trouble finding advertisers that are a good fit for your business, don’t worry! Google Ads, LinkedIn, and SellerCrowd can help you find the perfect match quickly and easily.
If you are good at reviewing or promoting products, you can make money from a website by doing affiliate marketing.
You can earn commissions through affiliate links when readers buy the products or services of the companies that you are affiliated with.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money passively, especially if your website has a lot of active users who are receptive to your opinion. Websites like Wirecutter and Smart Passive Income have become successful through affiliate marketing.
How to monetize a website via affiliate marketing:
- Create a website that focuses on recommending and promoting products or, post an item or service review related to your content.
- Join affiliate programs such as Hostinger and Amazon or search Affiliate networks like ShareASale and CJ Affiliate.
- Include affiliate links in your content organically.
Selling your own products or services
If you have products to sell and the skills to do so, you should consider opening an online storefront. Websites like Bellroy and Tattly have been successful by providing excellent products and services to their customers.
Though more complicated than building a basic website, you can still have an online store operational within a few days.
How to monetize a website via eCommerce:
- Set your niche.
- Search domain names, and choose the perfect domain name.
- Buy a web hosting plan.
- Install WordPress.
- Set up WooCommerce or a similar eCommerce platform.
- Design your store by browsing through themes and customizing them.
- Places you can start with: WooCommerce theme library and WordPress WooCommerce theme library. You can also go through some inspiration to get started.
- Add your products by navigating to Products -> Add New on the sidebar
- Start marketing and get your first sale.
Start a paid membership website
You can create a private, member-only area on your website using a tool like MemberStack. This area can contain extra content that only members can access, providing value that justifies the price tag for membership.
The most popular types of membership sites include:
- Paid communities featuring private forums, discussion boards, members directory, masterminds, special discounts, and more. Example: Traffic Think Tank
- Education buffets sell access to a bundle of courses, webinars, podcasts, and other educational resources. Example: Game Arts Academy
- Mastermind and accountability groups organize group coaching and mastermind sessions with a small-knit group of students. Example: Mark’d Women
Spinoff idea: Paid job board
You may have too many industry connections and more freelance work than you know what to do with.
As a way to make money from her website, Carol Tice, a experienced freelance writer, has created a job board where people can pay to post or refer jobs.
Monetize access to your email list
If you’re spending hours creating a newsletter, make sure you’re also spending time curating it.
Can you help support my work by chipping in? I would really appreciate it and you know how great my content is.
The Economist (Espresso) has been making money from a paid newsletter since 2014, and it’s still going today, so we can assume this is a successful strategy.
If you want to set up a paid email newsletter, you can use Revue or Substack. This will protect your content from public sharing.
If you believe your content is valuable and you require help to maintain your website, you could ask for donations from your readers. It’s unlikely that every reader will donate, but if you have enough traffic, it’s possible to earn enough to support your website and make some extra money.
Donation buttons can be set up on your site that allows readers to contribute directly to payment processors such as PayPal, Stripe, or Fundly.
You can add the buttons as widgets and place them anywhere you like. Just make sure that the readers can find them easily.
Sponsored content is a collaboration between a publisher and a business, in which the business pays the publisher to create content and publish it on the publisher’s site. This is a lucrative channel for publishers, whether they are starting a blog or building a website.
If you want to earn more money from your sponsored content, offer to write the post as well as publish it on your website. You can charge a higher rate for this service.
Before starting to create sponsored content, you should consider these few points:
- How much influence you have online.
- The number of sponsored posts you’ll be writing each month.
- How much time you’ll spend creating the content.
- Brand value (the sponsored content vs. your blogging brand).
An example of this is BuzzFeed, who can charge up to $100,000 for a single sponsored content piece. This is possible because of the high influence and brand value that BuzzFeed has.
How to monetize a website via sponsored posts:
- Start small – Kristy Ellington, a content marketer and strategist, recommends starting with smaller national brands and companies.
- Build up a portfolio.
- Partner with marketing and PR agencies.
- Search around sponsorship markets such as Tomoson, Cooperatize, and PayPerPost.
Sponsored content can be a good way to make money from your website, as long as you’re honest with your readers about it.
If you’re good at building websites, you can make money by selling them for a high price to others. Affiliate, membership, eCommerce, and dropshipping sites are usually worth the most. But you can also make money by selling personal blogs, news sites, or any other “digital estate” that you own.
Your website valuation will depend on several factors:
- Monetization model
- Monthly revenue to expenses ratio
- Amount of traffic
- SEO metrics
- Conversion rates
- Social media follower count
If you have a website that is doing well and growing, you can expect to make 20-50 times your monthly revenue from selling it, according to Greg Elfrink from Empire Flippers.
Coupons with affiliate links
Almost all consumers look for deals when they go shopping. Another way to do affiliate marketing is to offer coupons from affiliate partners.
Rakuten is the best place to go for online discounts and coupons. The site attracts customers and sends them to merchants that it has partnered with, making money off of commissions.
You can attract more traffic to your site by putting up coupons.
So what are the options?
- Post coupons from affiliate partners/programs you’ve joined to your existing sites.
- Contact your local and national retailers for deals you can promote on your website.
- Create sites dedicated to offering coupons. These can be general, such as coupons.com, or specific, like Holidayers.
Gate some of your content
Mark Manson uses a paywall for some of his content, which limits access to only those who are willing to pay for it. This is a good way to get people to read your content, especially if it is longer, deeper, and more researched.
Most of Mark’s personal essays are free to read, but for access to audio versions of all articles, as well as “new perspectives and bad jokes”, you can pay $4 per month. MemberStack can be used to bring this functionality to your website.
Monetize your expertise
If you’re a freelancer, you can charge more per hour if you have a website that promotes your skills and services. Having a website makes you look more professional and trustworthy, and clients are willing to pay more for that.
Setting up a Hire Me page is a good way to get a gig because the freelance economy is growing.
Not sure what services to pitch?
Here are some ideas:
- Website design and development
- App development
- Graphic design
- Virtual assistant services
- Copywriting and content marketing
- Editing and proofreading
- SEO and digital marketing
- Transcriptionist services
- Recruiting and career services
- Any other service you can do remotely
Spinoff idea: Advertise in-person services
Can’t fully deliver your service online? You can still use your website to find clients in your area and pitch other in-person services such as:
- Speaking engagements
- Face-to-face consulting
One example is Smashing Magazine, which is one of the most established resources on web design and development. They regularly have conferences and workshops around the world.
Another spinoff idea: Provide one-on-one coaching sessions
Get ahead by offering your readers the chance to ask you questions and receive advice on the thing you do best.
If you’re looking for personalized attention and want to learn more quickly than you would in a traditional class setting, private coaching may be a good option for you. It requires less of an upfront investment than taking an online course, and you’ll be able to get started more quickly than if you were to wait for an in-person workshop to be scheduled.
According to Forbes, some of the fastest-growing coaching niches right now are:
- Women empowerment
- Employee engagement and satisfaction
- Chronic illness
If you’re an expert in something, it’s likely that someone will pay you for your advice and mentorship.
Set up a dropshipping store
Dropshipping is a type of eCommerce fulfillment that does away with the need for inventory management, shipping, and fulfillment.
As a dropshipper, you don’t have to worry about keeping any inventory at your place of business. Your supplier takes care of that for you and makes sure that each order is packaged properly and shipped out in a timely manner. You just need to focus on getting more orders.
According to Niche Pursuits, as a solo business owner, you can make $1,000 to $5,000 per month if you put in the work. That is:
- Set up a nice eCommerce storefront
- Find reliable suppliers
- Invest in pay-per-click ads to promote your products
- Provide good customer service
- Look into other ways of growing your store traffic
If you want to sell your dropshipping store, you can expect to make 20-30 times your monthly revenue.