Hi guys! Today I want to give you an overview on the different ways bloggers make money. People blog for a variety of reasons, but it is possible for the everyday blogger to make an income from their blog. It isn’t a get rich quick scheme, more like starting a business. For some bloggers it takes years to make a decent salary and for others it happens a little faster. Here are the five main ways to make money blogging: Ad networks, affiliate marketing, selling ad space, sponsored posts, and selling services/products.
This is probably one of the most well-known ways bloggers or websites make money. Ad networks allow bloggers to place ads on their blog from other companies without having a relationship with those companies.
Most ad networks use target ads. Meaning the ad changes depending on who is viewing the blog, the content on the blog, or the content the viewer recently visited.
The 2 main ways bloggers get paid through ad networks are per impression or per click.
Paid per impression – with these ads, the viewer does not have to click on the ad in order for the blogger to receive an income, they are paid per impression – how many times the ad is seen.
Paid per click – every time someone clicks on the ad, bloggers receive a small wage.
Here’s a great article on how Adsense works.
These type of ads work great for blogs with high traffic. For beginning blogs, it can take a while to get more than a few cents this way. In the beginning, bloggers can be more lucrative by display affiliate ads/banners instead.
Affiliate marketing is where a blogger establishes a connection with a company and then promotes that company and/or their products and services. Each blogger is given a unique URL to the company’s website. When a viewer clicks that link and then purchases from the company, the blogger receives a commission.
They usually receive commission in the form of a percentage of the sale or a flat rate for sign up or purchase.
There are several ways bloggers can become affiliates for companies. If you ever talk about a product or company on your blog, head to their website and scroll down to the very bottom of their website. This is usually where there is a link for the company’s affiliate program. If you’re a fashion blogger, I have a whole post dedicated to affiliate marketing for fashion bloggers.
You can also find affiliate programs by signing up for an affiliate marketing network. Here are a few of the most popular ones: (you guessed it, some of these are affiliate links)
CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction)
Amazon – Note: Residents of Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Missouri, or Rhode Island are not eligible to participate in the Associates program.
If you want to make money on your blog with affiliate marketing, check out The Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers.
Selling ad space
Selling ad space is a way for bloggers to control what type of ads are on their blog and how much they will charge for ad placement.
What’s the incentive for companies or other blogs purchasing the ad space? They get traffic to their blog or website and potential new customers for business. Usually the amount of traffic a blog receives dictates the cost of space on a blog. The more traffic, the more you’ll likely a blogger will make selling ad space. In a survey I conducted last year, bloggers make anywhere from $5 a month to $2,000 a month by selling ad space on their blog. Ads are usually placed in the sidebar, below the blog header, or below the blog post. Bloggers can use PayPal or a platform like Passionfruit ads to take care of the transaction.
These are posts where companies pay bloggers to write a post about their company or product. Some bloggers have set prices for how much they will do sponsored posts for, while others are open to negotiating based on the companies’ budget for the project.
Share-a-sale recommends the following formula for determining how much to charge for sponsored posts:
$50 – around 5,000 unique visitors / month
$100 – around 10,000 unique visitors / month
$250 – around 20,000 unique visitors / month
$500 and up – around 50,000 + unique visitors / month
Many bloggers do reviews in exchange for free product, this is considered a type of sponsored post. If a company asks a blogger to do a review, they should not have to purchase anything. Basically, they send the blogger product, they try it out, and then write an honest review of the product and link to the company
I am always surprised at how many bloggers don’t become an affiliate for companies they are doing sponsored or review posts for! No reason not to earn money from the sponsored post and the affiliate sales that come from it. (unless, of course, it is not okay with the sponsor – always ask first) Check the company’s website and see if they have an affiliate program. If they do, sign up before your post goes live. As an affiliate, you will get a commission from purchases made through your links.
Most people think bloggers make the bulk of their income through ads, but the truth is that most successful bloggers also sell something of their own. Food bloggers sell ebooks, real cook books, or meal plans. Some bloggers sell digital files for people to purchase and print on their own. Others sell organization strategies.
I recently discovered a blog that offers online styling services – to help you look Chic, Sophisticated and Attractive! Another example is this aspiring, young blogger who sells patterns to the clothing she crotchets.
That pretty much sums up the 6 main ways bloggers make money.
It’s okay for bloggers to make money!
If you are a blogger and not doing these things you should! A little monetary gain for the hard work bloggers do is always a boost. Believe me, blogging is hard work.
Some people feel that placing ads or affiliate links is a betrayal to blog readers. I disagree though. I think bloggers deserve a little cash for all the free content they provide. There’s always a proper balance though. Don’t bombard your readers with annoying ads or over placement. Also make sure to keep a balance a sponsored vs. non sponsored posts. Nobody likes it when there are more commercials then there is show.
Bloggers, don’t forget to disclose
The FTC requires all bloggers to disclose if they are paid or given product for a post:
“Bloggers who receive cash or in-kind payment (including free products or services for review) are deemed endorsers and so must disclose material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.”
For those of you that are already making money, leave a comment and tell us all what your #1 source of income is.
Affiliate marketing is the main source of income for my blog. Followed by the services I offer on my website. I’d love to hear your thoughts on making money blogging!
Ready to start your own profitable blog?
I hope you found this post informational! My goal was to help you have a better understanding of how bloggers make money and that is very possible and acceptable for them to make money. If you want to start a blog, read my series22