6 ways to make money blogging

From ad revenue and sponsorships, to writing for hire, or landing a better job.

As I’m a regular blogger (now with not one, but two daily blogs/email lists), people tend to ask me about blogging. Recently the question was “How easy is it to make money with a blog?”

Naturally, it depends, because there are different approaches. Here are six ways to earn money blogging.

  1. Ad revenue

    I think this is what most people think about when they think about monetizing a blog. “I’ll set up a Google AdSense account, then write such amazing content that Google just pays me to blog.” While this approach does work for some people, it’s rare. And most people who have success at this spend years getting there. This is truly a volume play. You likely need millions of views per month to replace a normal salary this way.

  2. Sponsorships

    Closely realted to ad revenue is the concept of sponsorships. If your blog is popular enough in its niche, you may find that you can sell sponsorships. That is, some company that sells something relevant to your audience pays you directly, for you to mention or otherwise promote their product. This really is a lot like ad revenue, without the middleman. In some ways the barrier to entry here is higher than with ad revenue, but if your target market is narrow enough, and your readers engaged enough, you may theoretically be able to land some lucritive sponsorships with a small readership base. (Imagine you write a blog only for NBA point guards, but that a sponsor is willing to pay you 150k to get in front of that audience.)

  3. Affiliate revenue

    You aren’t making money directly from your blog, but by writing about things that people buy, and for whom the sellers give you a small kick-back. This approach is apparently popular on Instagram and Pinterest (two web sites I’ve never personally used. Or at least not intentionally.) If you’re a tech blogger, maybe you write book reviews, and then link to Amazon with your Amazon Associates account to monetize sales of the books you review.

  4. Selling your own products

    With this approach, you’re not selling books on Amazon, you’re selling your own products. Have you written a book? Sell an e-course? Run a SaaS? Blog about it! And blog about topics relevant to the audience for your product. Then mention your product when it makes sense.

  5. Writing for hire

    One of the easiest ways to make money blogging is to directly get paid for blogging. A large number of companies out there will hire guest bloggers to write on topics relevant to their audience. You can do a search, and connect with such companies directly. Or you may find an agency that helps you find such companies. One such agency I’ve written for in the past, and can recommend if you’re interested in writing on technical topics, is HitSubscribe. They pay a fixed amount per post, so as you become more proficient at writing, your effective hourly rate can go up significantly.

    This can also be a great way to launch a blogging side-hustle by building a name and sharpening your writing skills while being paid to write content for others.

  6. Help you land a job

    I went into detail on this yesterday.