How to win money with a blog
I know, hardly anyone writes about how to make money blogging, right? Indeed, there are many sites where they explain how to monetize a blog, but what they may not do is tell it from their own real experience, and that falls under its own weight.
So after convincing myself (and I am stubborn), I am going to tell you what I know and think about making money with a blog, more than anything because I experience it firsthand as a blogger.
- Can you make money from a blog?
- How much money can you make with a blog?
- How to monetize a blog
- The best ways to make money with a blog
- Sell products
- Offer services
- Publish reviews and sponsored posts
- Private paid content (Membership)
- Sell your blog
Can you make money from a blog?
Well yes, even if you don't believe it, YES .
In fact, making money with a blog is something increasingly “normal”, because today the Internet is full of business ideas, professionals who offer their services, great (and not so great) influencers who get paid to promote things, companies that pay to advertise in the media and blogs at the expense of their wallets, etc.
And the blog can be (and is) perfectly a channel and even an online business more like any other type of website, and in some cases much better.
The weird thing was that a few years ago, When I said I made money blogging, they looked at me like they were watching a green unicorn talk.
And since then, putting many hours into learning, content, design, SEO, promotion, etc., little by little I have been generating more income per month, and also enjoying it.
How much money can you make with a blog?
Here's the trick to all this my friend, one thing is that you can earn money with a blog (there is no doubt about that) and another very different thing is how much you can earn or at least if you can earn enough to live. . of him worthily.
In my case, today I live off my blog and I have been doing it for several years (and I hope for many more). But be careful with this, because the fact that it does does NOT mean that it is something easy to achieve.
Making money with a blog may be “normal”, but making a living from it, I'm telling you, is NOT.
In my specific case, counting only the income that the blog generates “directly” for me, it already gives me a much better salary than the one I had when I worked as an employee in a computer consulting firm in Madrid, where I earned about €1,486 net/month + 2 extra payments.
But like I said, I don't want you to have a limited view of how much you can earn from a blog by only looking at what I can earn.
That is why I published this survey on Twitter to have more specific data, even if it is from a “small” sample of more than 860 people who have voted for it.
Around 60% do not earn more than €100 per month with their blog “directly”.
And be careful, in this survey people voted who are mostly related to the world of marketing in one way or another; In many other sectors this percentage is probably even higher.
What do I mean with all this?
Well, be careful with what they tell you out there about making easy money with a blog, because it is more likely that you will earn little (or very little) than that you will earn a lot or something "decent"... And that probability of earning little or a lot has a DEPENDMENT like a great cathedral.
Oh, and also add that you have to dedicate time to it, because this takes work, it takes hours; and more at the beginning, which is when it is most difficult. Don't fool yourself, this is just another job with its good things and its bad things, like everyone else.
So you know what's there
How to monetize a blog
If I haven't completely discouraged you with what I've told you so far (I'm sorry, but you have to know what you're getting into, Manolete), I'm going to explain 4 steps that you should follow no matter what to increase the probability of being able to monetize a blog, either with “direct” or “indirect” income from the blog.
At least don't go around like a headless chicken.
- Choose a good theme or niche: because not all themes “move” the same money nor are they equally competitive.
- Create a good blog: because if your idea is to “kill it” in that niche with a blog made in Wix or with a design that looks like Homer Simpson's website, you better dedicate yourself to bobbin lace.
- Plan and follow a good strategy: because, for example, writing about how cold it is at the North Pole is not the same as recommending travel insurance to go to the North Pole.
- Choose the best way to monetize your blog: because depending on the theme or niche and the strategy you are going to follow, there will be some ways to make money that fit (and perform) better than others.
Don't worry, I'll explain each of these steps in more depth.
1. Choice of topic or niche
This is the first key step to making money with a blog: the topic you are going to discuss on the blog or the market niche you want to “enter.”
What you have to do?
Well, answer these questions that I ask you below. And be honest, because if not you will only be deceiving yourself (I'm telling you this because my mother told me this a lot and it must be true).
Does it smell like money?
Because as you can imagine, it is not the same as trying to make money writing about the History of Spain, which a priori is a purely informative topic and those who search for it on Google do not seem to want to buy anything.
- As you have seen in the images before, search on Google for the topic of your blog (and more specifically the keywords or phrases for which you would like to be found) and analyze what appears in the results.
- If you see ads, that's because there are people paying to appear in those searches; a good sign that “there is money” there.And if there are no ads, enter the first 5 results to see what they are about and if they are monetizing in some way (ads, affiliates, sale of a product/service, etc.); That would also be a good sign.
In short, there is nothing like seeing what is already monetizing in the niche where you want to be with your blog to know if it is worth it.
2. Create the blog
Already knowing the theme or niche, and having analyzed what will be your competition, you will have seen what types of blogs are working, right?
Well, you know.
If the blogs that are doing it in your niche use large, quality images, then so should you. And if they use a design that's cheesier than a unicorn throwing up rainbows, then so are you. Because if they are there, it is probably because that is what the reader of that niche “demands.”
Of course, don't make a copy, the other way around. Make a blog that will be the envy of your competition, they will want one like yours! No creating one for free or any of that nonsense. If you want to monetize a blog and you don't invest in something decent, don't expect them to "pay" for you later.
3. Define the strategy to follow
Ok, now you have a good topic or niche chosen and you have a good blog created.
Okay, well, don't get too excited, because with this you can believe Brad Pitt flirting in a nightclub and then not even know how to dance Paquito Chocolatero.
Now it's time to see how you "put" your blog into that niche and get people to read it, that's the trick!
That is why it is very important to have a strategy, to know what you are going to do, how you are going to do it and when you are going to do it. Because if you write on your blog for years without rhyme or reason, you'll end up with nothing and you won't see a dime.
4. Choose ways to monetize the blog
Now is when it makes sense to start monetizing the blog, when you have already taken the previous steps. Because in most cases (not always), until you have a blog with a clear strategy and specific objectives, it is very difficult to earn money on a regular basis.
Because it is not the same thing that your old neighborhood butcher sells you meat, than a man who knocks on your door on a Monday to sell you a delicious Mechada meat at a low price.
The best ways to make money with a blog
To begin with, not all ways to make money online are suitable for a blog, that's for sure. A blog can be a good source of income, but if you use the right ways to monetize at the right time.
That's why I'm going to explain to you what ways to make money are the best for a blog (in my opinion, of course!), and I'll also tell you the ones I use on this same blog.
It is the “classic” way to make money with a blog and one of the most used. Come on, when your brother-in-law tells you that he is going to create a blog to make money, you already know that he means advertising it.
The problem is that your brother-in-law thinks he is going to fill his pockets with money by putting 4 ad blocks on his blog about the white-collared stork (a blog that you and your mother-in-law are forced to read). And of course, then he will say that blog advertising doesn't make money.
Well, I'm telling you that well-placed advertising on profitable topic or niche blogs makes money; And if they have a lot of visitors on top of that, it makes more money. Now, you have to know how to do it, and that is not achieved overnight.
Google AdSense: it is the best-known platform of all (because it is from Google, of course). At the time it gave me about €50/month.
It is charged, above all, for the clicks that your visitors make on the ads, which is called CPC or Cost Per Click. And of course, in my blog about marketing/SEO this is not profitable because many readers already know that they are ads and do not click on them (or so I think).
But I already told you that there are many who do control AdSense and who earn thousands of € per month... And if you think that this way of monetizing is the one that fits your blog, I recommend that you follow Chuiso or Bruno's advanced course Ramos, because they are the brown beasts of AdSense who know what those profitable niches are and how to place the ads.
The Moneytizer: I discovered this platform looking for an alternative to AdSense (seen what I've seen...) to see if I could make the blog profitable with advertising, and very well indeed. With 2 ad blocks in the sidebar it gave me between €350-€450/month without VAT included (and without counting income from the affiliation they have).
In this case, visitors do not need to click on the ads because they are charged simply for the ads to be displayed, which is called CPM or Cost Per Mille (Cost Per Thousand Impressions). And of course, on my blog that is more profitable than clicks.
So if you're still waiting for AdSense to verify your site or you just want to try it to compare (which I highly recommend), here I explain how to use The Moneytizer, the alternative to AdSense.
Private advertisers: this option is more complicated because advertisers usually look for advertising platforms to save time, but if you find an advertiser who is willing to negotiate a fixed price, CPC or CPM, then great.
In my case, in some posts on this blog I have placed in the sidebar a block from a specific advertiser that generates a fixed €100/month without VAT included, and that also has an affiliate link.
CPA (Cost Per Action)
This form of monetization is based on the “advertiser” paying you if you get the visitors to your blog to do a specific action that you have agreed upon, whether it is watching a video, leaving their data, installing an application, dancing to Leticia's latest song. Sabater
Whatever can be proven to have actually been done.
Being strict with the term CPA (Cost Per Action), clicking on an ad would already be an action, but I wanted to separate it from “classic” advertising because CPA normally refers to an action that is more difficult to achieve than a click.
That is why there are different types of CPA depending on the action to be achieved.
CPL or Cost Per Lead: get the user to leave their contact to the advertiser. Come on, the typical thing to do is register or send an email to receive more information, etc.
There are people who make money with this way of monetizing their blog with a very interesting price per lead (which is the key). For example, Sergio Somoza, who positions himself very well on Google for a specific local business and then contacts a professional/company to sell the potential clients that come to him.
I don't use this form on my blog right now, but back in the day I did have it with a contact form for the “advertiser” and I charged about €0.30 per lead. He didn't even give me any pipes
Example: a web development company gives you €5 for each person who contacts them on your behalf, thanks to the fact that you recommend them on your blog or you directly have a contact form that sends a direct message to that development company.
CPV or Cost Per View: get the user to watch a video (full or a minimum of x seconds). In truth, this form would be more of the “classic” type of advertising, and it is widely used on YouTube or online television platforms, which put ads in your soup before, during and after watching what you wanted to see and in the end you end up they take away your desire to see it
Be careful because in some places when they talk about CPV they refer to the Cost Per Sale and not the Viewing Cost.
I have not used this form as such on my blog. It is true that Google AdSense can put videos in its ad units, but apparently it pays them per click on the video (CPC) and impressions (CPM), not per view of the video specifically (CPV).
Example: You place an ad unit on your blog from an ad platform that you know displays videos and pays by CPV. When your readers start watching videos on your blog, if they watch it for a minimum of 30 seconds you would charge €0.5 (for example).
CPI or Cost Per Installation: getting the user to install an application. This form was previously used for PC programs but now it is used more for app installations on mobile phones, so where you will see it the most is precisely in the advertisements of many apps.
I have never used this form of monetization on the blog. Where I did use it, for example, is in GamGage, an app I made at the time to measure engagement on Instagram.
There from time to time an ad would appear for you to install other different apps.
Example: an app developer gives you €2 for each person who installs their new app thanks to you, for example from a link you have on your blog that takes them to the page to download it.
CPA or Cost Per Acquisition/Sale: yes, it is a bit of a hassle, but within the CPAction there is the CPAquisition/Sale which, as you can imagine, the action to be achieved is for the user to buy something.
This form is the most profitable for the advertiser (he pays you only if he manages to sell thanks to you) and that is why it is also one of the best paid, but of course, it is one of the most difficult to achieve.
For me this is the best way to make money with a blog (if done well, of course) and the most beneficial for both the advertiser and you: if you get it to sell, you get a commission.
And yes, it would fall within the CPA since the action to be achieved is a sale, but in this case there is a fundamental part that makes it special:
Affiliate (or affiliate) marketing, in short, is about using strategies to sell (marketing) third-party products or services in exchange for an (affiliate) commission.
Here is an article where I explain in much more detail what affiliate marketing is and how exactly it works.
The trick is this, that it is not just about putting an affiliate link and that's it, but about getting that person to click to go buy it. You have to go to the seller convinced (or almost) that you want to buy it.
And for that there are many strategies that you can carry out on a blog, such as:
- Make comparisons
- Resolve specific doubts or problems
- Guide the user during a specific creation or development process
- Post honest and well-crafted reviews
Affiliate platforms or networks: these are sites where advertisers “meet” people who want to be their affiliates. You register, search for brands or products (depending on the theme, commission, language, etc.), ask to be an affiliate, and when they accept you, you can use the link they give you.
And it is the platform that is responsible for managing everything: statistics, income, payments, etc. This way advertisers get out of trouble.
In my case, for example, I have a keyword research guide in which I recommend a keyword tool, and affiliation is done through ClickBank (which is not exactly an example of “friendly” design). It usually gives me between €250 – €410 per year without VAT included. It's something.
I also have affiliation in some online SEO courses, and it is done through Hotmart affiliates. These usually give me between €1,450 – €1,900 per year without VAT included.
And other affiliate networks that I also use are for example Impact and ShareASale for the Genesis Framework templates or the WP-Rocket plugin. But these only give me about €220 a year without VAT included between the two.
Own affiliate system or program: this is the option that gives me the most income by far, but not for nothing, simply because the services that generate the most for me as an affiliate (especially providers that I recommend when buying hosting) have your own affiliate program, with its statistics, payment system, etc.
Each affiliate program has its own conditions (and commissions). One of the best known is undoubtedly Amazon Affiliates, but you also have those for each store or sector such as the Webempresa affiliation, which gives you a 25% commission that is recurring every time the customer renews.
That's güeno güeno!
And SiteGround affiliation, for example, does not have recurring payments but uses another strategy to “encourage” its affiliates to get more sales with a scaled commission system; The more sales you make, the higher the commission you get for each one of them.
Veryyyyy sweet tooth.
Negotiate affiliation: in marketing this option is quite viable, but in other less “digital” sectors it can be more complicated. Although this can also be a good opportunity to do very interesting business with suppliers who perhaps had not considered it (due to ignorance or lack of interest) and thus stand out in that sector.
It's all about trying!
In my case right now I do have some “negotiated” affiliation without an affiliate system, but nothing that gives me interesting income, to be honest (apart from the SEO professionals that I mentioned in the CPA section, of course). Even so, whenever I see something that is really good and fits the blog, I don't have time to write an email to the supplier and experiment.
Without a doubt this is one of the forms that is in fashion, especially some of its “variants” such as digital training or information products (the famous info products) or physical products (t-shirts, mugs, etc.).
The idea is basically the same as that of any online or e-commerce store, only here the way you are going to get your clients to arrive is going to be thanks to the blog. Because the blog is a brutal mechanism to generate trust, and that is one of the keys to selling.
Be careful, because the bad thing about this way of making money is that as a general rule it requires more time and effort than, for example, advertising, of course. Especially if you create the product or manage its after-sales, customer support, etc.
Yes, there are exceptions, but they are precisely that, exceptions.
Own products: these are products made by you (or for you, with your brand) that you sell, whether physical or digital. For example, a training course made with videos (an infoproduct), a ceramic vase, an ebook or a physical book that you have written.
And you can sell them directly from your blog with a plugin like Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce, or external platforms to create an online store without having to know how to program.
Anyway, you will see that this way of making money is one of the most used by many bloggers who sell their own products. Like for example Claudio Inacio with his ebook.
Third-party products: be careful, I am not referring to affiliation, but to products from others that you buy to resell later (physical or digital). If it is dropshipping then the supplier will be in charge of managing the stock, shipping it in your name, etc., but if not, it is up to you to do everything
Here you get rid of a lot of hassle regarding selling your own products, but it is true that the margin you have left between buying the product and what you earn by selling it is usually low, so you have to sell a lot for it to really be profitable.
All the dropshipping that glitters is not gold
Print-on-demand products: this is great if, for example, you are an artist, designer, photographer, etc. or you simply want to sell your designs and phrases on mugs, clothing and lots of products (your brand's merchandising).
There are good print-on-demand providers like Printful that do not take care of the sale, but they do create the items for you to sell yourself from your store and then they send them to your customers (and that way you get out of trouble).
For a professional, a freelancer or a lifelong self-employed worker, this way of making money thanks to the blog is the “basic”, and by this I mean that you would have to have it YES or YES at least.
Because as I told you before, if the blog is a brutal channel to generate trust by showing what you know or do, the logical step for anyone who has found you on Google looking for something that you know how to do, could well be to hire your services directly. .
Be careful here too (you see that I have eyes everywhere), because this way of making money requires your complete time and effort, there is nothing scalable here unless you have a machine to clone yourself like Dolly the sheep.
You have to be there to provide the service they hire you for (with very exceptional exceptions, yes).
Digital services: when what you offer can be done “remotely” and delivered to the client over the Internet. Here there are a ton of possibilities with writing jobs, development (apps, websites, software, etc.), consulting, training, design, SEO and a long etcetera.
Publish a page on your blog where you explain well the service you offer (price, conditions, contact form, etc.), and give the blog a boost with good content marketing to attract readers and potential clients.
This is something that is done a lot in the digital world, as Marina Brocca does for example in her blog:
In my case, for example, a long time ago I offered a service to create professional blogs on this same blog, and it was great for me as a source of income, to be honest. In fact, I still get readers asking me to create a blog for them or help them with SEO, but now what I do is recommend the partners that I mentioned before in the CPA section.
Physical services: yes, as you read. A blog can also come in handy for you or your business for the “physical” services that you offer, for example, in your city, be it plumbing, physiotherapy, or official letter-stamp sucking (which I don't think there is much competition for).
And thanks to local SEO, your blog can appear very well positioned in Google results for searches focused on specific sites (cities, regions, counties, etc.). For example, if you live in Guadalajara and simply search for “dentist” on Google, you will see that you get many results for dentists in Guadalajara.
Publish reviews and sponsored posts
One of the ways to make money that is booming in blogging now that the issue of buying content and links to improve SEO is so “normalized.” And a blog specialized in a specific topic and that has “good data” can be a gem so that some sites want that blog to link to them.
Wow, it's not always done just to get an inbound link (also called backlink); There are brands and advertisers who simply seek to be more visible, and that is why they buy sponsored posts on blogs or even pay for you to review their product or service.
But come on, they will almost always want a link too.
Be careful, now it's not about turning your blog into a billboard, okay? This is a way to monetize a blog that you should not abuse because it would be counterproductive; People will get bored of reading paid posts all the time if you don't give them something really interesting.
Private paid content (Membership)
It's funny because this way of making money was one of the pioneers in the world of blogging.
Some bloggers published public posts that everyone could read and other private ones that you could only read if you paid. Or in the same post you had a “visible” introduction and if you wanted to continue reading it you had to pay.
Now, years later, it seems that this way of monetizing content has a second youth with membership sites. They are sites with “exclusive” content for members who pay a monthly fee and have access to EVERYTHING you have published; This way you would only have to pay for the months you need (or want).
The truth is that it is a very good business model and very profitable if done well.
It is true that as a general rule memberships are oriented towards courses or training, but be careful because they can also be content from your blog.
By the way, a very cool membership that I'm signed up for right now is sabandijers.club, which is focused on online businesses (with courses, forum, tools, etc.) but with a hooligan, ironic and humorous tone, like It's cool to me.
Sell your blog
How do you read it! Why not?
Perhaps you have created a blog (or many) and have helped it grow little by little until it has interesting potential. You may even already be earning a little money with it, but for whatever reason you have reached a “cap” and you can't get more out of it.
Well, if your blog is not associated with your personal brand (logically I wouldn't sell my blog even dead...) and you think you're going to get more out of it by selling it than by continuing with it, sell it! There are many people interested in buying sites that already have a journey or a validated idea so they don't have to start from scratch.
Maybe you are good at precisely what others are lazy about, starting blogs, creating them like hotcakes. Cloning them like Dolly the sheep and making them start earning even €10 a month with them. Well, maybe that could be your business directly.
To finish, I will give you a brief summary so that everything is clearer than water, okay?
- You can make money with a blog, but it's screwed.
- Earning enough money from a blog to make a living is also possible, but it's waaaaay more shitty.
- Forget about making a free blog and making money (or doing something interesting), you have to invest time and money.
- If you don't want to waste more time and money than necessary, you need a strategy.
Choose the ways to monetize that make the most sense with your blog strategy.
So now you know, if you really want to make money with a blog, save this post in favorites and follow all these steps.
I can't guarantee you'll get it, but I'm sure you'll have a better chance.
If you want to know other articles similar to How to win money with a blog you can visit the Earn money.