Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to make money blogging in 2023. This in-depth article will outline the top five methods for a new or seasoned blogger to build upon their blog's success and leverage a monetization strategy to earn passive income from their successful blog.
Starting a blog is an excellent way to share your thoughts, expertise, and experiences with the world. However, if you are serious about blogging and want to make it a sustainable source of income, you need to develop a blog monetization strategy. Here are some tips to help you build a successful blog monetization strategy.
Let's get started!
What you'll find in this post
Blogging Business Essentials
Before we get into the specifics of blog monetization, we need to clarify a few important points. This post doesn't provide a step-by-step guide on how to start a blogging website, develop a blogging strategy, or create content.
This post assumes you've learned all of that and have applied it to start a blog, and it has started to build some level of success.
If you are still in the blog building stage, you'll find some links below to great resources to help you get started blogging, like choosing a web hosting company, registering a domain name, setting up a WordPress site or another CMS for your blog, and tips for creating winning blog post titles.
Building a Blog Monetization Strategy
Successful bloggers know that what comes next is to earn money from their efforts. In turn, they know they need to choose a monetization strategy that will best benefit the type of blog they operate.
Making money blogging is no easy feat. Building a profitable blog takes time. Ask almost any six-figure blogger. Search engines don't typically like new websites or new blogs. You must overcome that element of trust to earn that vote of confidence from major search engines and other blogs. This trust typically arrives in the form of a backlink.
Once you start to see some blogging business success, it's time to start building your strategies for how your successful blog will start making money.
Here are the steps to planning your strategy.
1. Understand what is available for your niche
You selected your niche likely because you were knowledgeable in the topics within it but also because you have a passion for helping others by sharing your knowledge. You may not have been thinking about money blogging when you chose a niche.
If this is you, you'll want to double back and look at how others within your niche are monetizing their blogs so you can find the proper avenues to explore.
2. Understand your audience's needs
The next step is to understand your blog audience better. Who is reading your posts? Who is signing up to stay up-to-date about your content? Who is benefitting from your knowledge? These will lead you down a path of understanding what types of advertisers would be best to partner with based on who is already listening to you.
3. Identify potential revenue streams
There are several ways to monetize your blog, including advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, product reviews, and selling digital or physical products. Identify which of these revenue streams is most suitable for your blog and start working on them.
More on each of those in a bit. First, let's quickly break down a few steps to help identify some revenue streams.
Follow through with these, and your entire strategy will become more cohesive.
- Research other blogs in your niche – Research other blogs in your niche to see how they're making money. Look at the types of ads they're running, the affiliate programs they're promoting, and any products or services they're selling.
- Consider advertising – If you have trouble identifying opportunities for your audience, consider buying some traffic from Google Ads or Facebook Ads to capture more demographic details to help dial in the audience.
- Look into affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketing is one of the best revenue streams. Start by signing up for an affiliate network with easy approval, like ShareASale or ClickBank, and poke around at the affiliate programs available in your niche.
- Resource – Top 22 Affiliate Networks
- Sell digital products – Another way to make money as a blogger is by selling digital products like e-books, courses, or printables. You'll want to pay close attention to the learning curve users display within your niche and determine if there are additional learning opportunities you could package and sell.
- Offer coaching or consulting services – If you have expertise in a particular area, you can offer coaching or consulting services to your audience. This could include one-on-one coaching sessions or group coaching programs. You can get this set up while your blog traffic is growing. That way, you earn money from this revenue stream while plugging in others.
- Sponsored content – Sponsored content involves working with brands to create content that promotes their products or services. This can be a lucrative revenue stream for bloggers with large audiences. Have you built up a brand that can promote other brands?
- Donations – Some bloggers accept donations from their readers to monetize their blogs. This works particularly well for bloggers who offer valuable content for free and have a loyal following. Look at Buy Me A Coffee or Tipeee.
Building a successful blog monetization strategy takes time and effort. It's best to start the process as early as possible to ensure you have the infrastructure in place when your new blog has matured.
Blogging Business Acumen
Blogging has evolved into a business in recent years, and it is essential to treat it as such if you want to succeed. As a new blogger, you must build your brand and create quality content that resonates with your target audience.
Here are some tips on how to blog like a business.
1. Create a Content Plan
A content marketing plan and associated operating procedures might be the single most important element to blogging like a business. You must stay on top of your content if you want long-term success.
A Content marketing plan should include the types of posts you will write, the frequency of posting, and the channels you will use to promote your content. You can choose to build this within a Google Sheet or use a task management tool like Trello or Asana.
As a new blogger, building a content marketing plan can seem daunting. However, it is essential to have a solid plan in place to ensure your blog reaches your target audience and drives traffic to your site. Here are some steps to follow when creating a content marketing plan:
- Define Your Target Audience: The first step in creating a content marketing plan is identifying your target audience. Understanding their needs and preferences will help you tailor your content to their interests.
- Set Goals: Determine what you want to achieve with your blog posts. Whether it's building brand awareness or increasing sales, setting specific goals will help you measure the success of your content marketing efforts.
- Choose Topics: Once you know your target audience and goals, it's time to choose topics that align with both. Research popular topics within your niche and use keyword research tools to identify relevant keywords.
- Create a Content Calendar: A content calendar will help you stay organized and consistent with your blogging efforts. Plan out your posts for the month or quarter, including topics, keywords, and publishing dates.
- Promote Your Blog: To reach a wider audience, plan to promote your blog on social media platforms and other online communities. Understand that each post allows “bite-size” content to be repurposed across multiple social media networks.
- Analyze Results: Regularly analyze your blog's performance using analytics tools. This will help you determine what's working and what needs improvement.
By following these steps, new bloggers can create an effective content marketing plan that drives traffic and builds brand awareness.
2. Set Goals
As a business blogger, it's essential to set goals for yourself. This could include increased traffic to your blog, growing your email list, or generating revenue through your blog content.
3. Invest in Your Blog
To blog like a business, you need to invest in your blog. This means spending money on hosting, design, and other tools to help you create a professional-looking site that attracts readers and advertisers.
Running a business blog can cost upwards of $1000-$2000 per year, depending on the quality and type of hosting and the other expenses for content production and plugins, assuming you have a self-hosted WordPress blog.
4. Build Your Brand
Your brand is what sets you apart from other bloggers in your niche. To build your brand, you must create a unique voice and style that resonates with your readers. This could include developing a logo or tagline that reflects your personality and values.
5. Network with Other Bloggers
Networking with other bloggers is an excellent way to grow your audience and learn from others in your niche. Attend conferences, join online groups or forums, and engage with other bloggers on social media.
Blogging like a business requires dedication, hard work, and persistence. As a blogger, you can make money in several ways, but the most important thing is to build a loyal readership.
The Top 5 Methods of Blog Monetization
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money with your blog. It involves promoting other people's products or services on your blog and earning a commission for every sale made through your unique affiliate link.
To get started, you must find affiliate programs that align with your niche and audience. You can promote products such as ebooks, courses, software, and physical products.
Affiliate Marketing Steps
Sponsored content involves working with brands or companies to create content that promotes their products or services. Brands pay bloggers to create content that includes their products or services in a subtle way.
The key is ensuring that the content aligns with your niche and audience and doesn't come across as too salesy. To get started, you can reach out to brands or join influencer networks such as AspireIQ and Activate.
Sponsored Content Steps
Display advertising involves placing ads on your blog and earning money for every click or impression generated by the ads.
Google AdSense is one of the most popular display ad networks that allow bloggers to monetize their blogs through ads. Other options include Ezoic, Mediavine, and AdThrive.
The key is to ensure that the ads are not intrusive and do not affect the user experience of your readers.
Display Advertising Steps
Digital products such as ebooks, courses, and printables are an excellent way to monetize your blog. You can create digital products that align with your niche and provide value to your audience.
For example, if you have a food blog, you can create an ebook with your best recipes or a course on how to cook healthy meals on a budget. You can sell these products on your blog or through platforms like Gumroad, Sellfy, and Teachable.
Digital Products Steps
If you have expertise in a particular field, you can offer coaching or consulting services to your readers. For example, if you have a blog about personal finance, you can offer coaching services to help people manage their finances better.
You can charge for these services based on an hourly or package rate. A blog can be a great way to extend your reach into becoming an expert within a given niche and then offering those services to other bloggers or creators.
Let's tackle the steps to get started with each individually.
Affiliate marketing is a great way for bloggers to monetize their blogs and earn money while promoting products or services they believe in.
If you're a new blogger looking to get started with affiliate marketing, here are some steps you can take:
1. Choose an affiliate network
Many affiliate networks exist, such as Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and Commission Junction. Research and choose the one that best fits your niche and interests.
2. Sign up for the affiliate program
Once you've chosen an affiliate network, sign up for the affiliate program of the product or service you want to promote. Most programs require you to complete an application and provide information about your blog and traffic.
3. Choose products to promote
Once you've been approved for the program, choose products that fit your niche and that you believe in. Don't promote products just because they offer high commissions – your readers will be able to tell if you're not genuine.
4. Create content around the products
Create blog posts or reviews that feature the products you're promoting. Remember to disclose that you're using affiliate links and explain how they work.
5. Promote your content
Share your blog posts on social media and other platforms to drive traffic to your site. The more people read your content, the more likely they are to click on your affiliate links.
6. Track your results
Most affiliate programs provide tracking tools that allow you to see how many clicks and sales you've generated. Use this information to optimize your content and improve your results.
7. Build relationships with your readers
Affiliate marketing is about building trust with your readers. Respond to comments and emails, be transparent about your affiliations, and only promote products you believe in.
6. Disclose Affiliate Content
It's important to disclose affiliate content on your blog. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires bloggers to disclose when they are paid for content.
Remember that affiliate marketing takes time and effort – it's not a get-rich-quick scheme. But with persistence and dedication, you can build a successful affiliate marketing strategy that earns you money while helping your readers find products they'll love.
Starting a blog can be exciting, but it can also be daunting. One of the ways to monetize your blog is through sponsored content. Sponsored content is when brands pay you to write about their products or services on your blog.
If you're new to blogging and want to get started with sponsored content, here are some steps you can take:
1. Build Your Blog
Before you can start earning money from your blog, you need to have a blog up and running. . Make sure your blog looks professional and has a clean layout. There are certain must-haves to be considered professional looking, like a clean navigation structure, a good user experience, and responsive design.
2. Build Your Audience
Once your blog is up and running, start building your audience. You need to have decent traffic before brands want to work with you. Focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience.
Use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote your blog and engage with your readers.
3. Create a Media Kit
A media kit is a document that outlines your blog's statistics, audience demographics, and other important information that brands need to know before they work with you.
Creating a professional-looking media kit showcasing your blogging strengths is important. A well-crafted media kit can help bloggers generate publicity, attract new readers, and build their brand image.
Here are some essential items that should be included in a media kit:
- Company Overview: This section should provide a brief introduction to the company, including its history, mission statement, and core values.
- Leadership: This section should list the names and titles of the key executives in the company, along with their biographies and headshots.
- Press Releases: This section should include recent press releases issued by the company, highlighting significant achievements, unique happenings, or other news.
- Images and Videos: High-quality images and videos are essential to any media kit. These visual assets can be used to create compelling stories about the company.
- Awards and Recognition: This information should be included in the media kit if the blog has received any awards or recognition.
- Contact Information: This section should provide contact details for the company's public relations team or spokesperson, along with phone numbers and email addresses.
- Social Media Links: Including links to the company's social media profiles can help journalists and brands connect with the blog on social media.
- Statistics and Research: If the blog has conducted any research or has access to relevant statistics related to the niche, this information can be included in the media kit.
4. Reach Out to Brands
Once you have a decent following and a professional-looking media kit, start reaching out to brands. You can use platforms like Social Fabric or TapInfluence to find sponsored content opportunities. You can also reach out to brands directly via email or social media.
5. Be Authentic
When working with brands, it's important to be authentic. Only work with brands whose products or services align with your values and niche. Don't promote products or services just because you're getting paid.
6. Disclose Sponsored Content
It's important to disclose sponsored content on your blog. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires bloggers to disclose when paid for content. Be transparent with your readers by including a disclosure statement at the beginning of each sponsored post.
Display advertising is an effective way for bloggers to monetize their content and earn revenue. Here are the steps a new blogger can take to get started with display advertising on their blog:
1. Choose an Advertising Network
Many advertising networks are available, such as Google AdSense, Ezoic, Mediavine, Media.net, Adthrive, and Propeller. Research each network and choose the one that best fits your needs.
2. Apply for an Account
Once you've chosen an advertising network, apply for an account. The application process varies by the network but typically requires basic information about your blog and its content.
You will need to show a level of traffic to get accepted into the programs, except for AdSense. The approval process is easier for Google AdSense.
3. Create Ad Units
After your account is approved, create ad units for your blog. These can be in the form of banners, text ads, or native ads. Choose ad sizes and formats that fit seamlessly with your blog's design.
Many have automatic systems to help with this placement process, making it easier to complete this task. It is easier, in the beginning, to plan your advertising space when designing and developing the blog template.
4. Place Ad Code on Your Blog
After creating ad units, the advertising network will provide you with an ad code to place on your blog. This code will display ads on your site and track impressions and clicks.
This can be done directly on your website, via a plugin (with some companies), or through Google Tag Manager.
5. Monitor Performance
Regularly monitor your ad performance using the advertising network's dashboard or analytics tools. Analyze data such as click-through rates and revenue generated to optimize your ad placements. Look at ad impressions based on traffic.
6. Optimize Ad Placements
Experiment with different ad placements on your blog to find the most effective positions. Consider placing ads above the fold, between paragraphs of content, or at the end of blog posts.
7. Follow Advertising Policies
Each advertising network has specific policies regarding the types of content allowed on its platform. Familiarize yourself with these policies to avoid violations that could result in account suspension or termination.
It's important to remember that success with display advertising requires consistent effort and optimization over time.
If you're a new blogger, selling digital products on your blog can be a great way to monetize your content and earn passive income. This is a bigger initiative than many think, as creating a course or digital product takes time and iteration to get right.
Here are the steps you can take to get started:
1. Choose a Product
The first step in selling digital products on your blog is choosing what to sell. Consider your audience's needs and interests, as well as your own skills and expertise. Common digital products include eBooks, online courses, printables, icons, graphics, images, and templates.
2. Create Your Product
Once you've chosen what to sell, it's time to create it. This may involve writing an eBook or creating a course, designing printables or templates, or recording video tutorials. Some digital products take significantly more time to create, so keep that in mind when choosing.
3. Set up Payment Processing
You must set up payment processing to sell digital products on your blog. Popular options include PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.Net for credit card payments. If you are using WooCommerce, you can connect to any of these with WordPress plugins.
4. Create a Sales Page
A sales page or funnel is where you'll promote your digital product and convince potential buyers to purchase. Ensure your sales page is visually appealing, clearly explains the benefits of your product, and includes testimonials from satisfied customers.
5. Promote Your Product
To drive sales of your digital product, promote it on your blog and social media channels. Consider running a limited-time promotion or offering a discount code to incentivize purchases.
There are a lot of promotion apps you can put in place on WordPress or Shopify to encourage purchases. Additionally, running a contest or giveaway can be a powerful marketing tactic.
6. Deliver Your Product
Once someone purchases your digital product, you'll need to deliver it to them. This may involve sending a download link via email or providing access to an online course platform.
Most WordPress bloggers will have an easy time using WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads plugins to handle this. Other platforms have their own solutions built into the platform.
7. Analyze the Results
Regularly analyze the performance of your digital products using analytics tools. This will help you determine what's working and what needs improvement. If you're not set on using Google Analytics 4, there are good alternatives you should check out.
By following these steps, new bloggers can successfully sell digital products on their blogs and earn passive income from their content.
As a new blogger, building a successful blog takes time and effort. However, offering coaching or consulting services can be a natural next step once you've established a strong following and reputation in your niche.
Here are some steps to follow when getting started with coaching or consulting services:
1. Identify Your Expertise
Before offering coaching or consulting services, it's important to identify your area of expertise. Consider what topics you frequently write about on your blog and what skills you possess that others may find valuable.
2. Develop Your Services
Based on your expertise, develop a list of coaching or consulting services you can offer. Be specific about what each service entails and how it can benefit clients.
3. Set Your Rates
Determine how much you will charge for your coaching or consulting services. Research rates within your niche to ensure you're pricing competitively.
4. Create a Sales Page
Create a sales page on your blog to promote your coaching or consulting services. This page should provide details about your services, rates, and testimonials from previous clients.
5. Promote Your Services
Once your sales page is live, promote it through social media and other online channels. Reach out to potential clients directly via email or through online communities related to your niche.
6. Deliver High-Quality Services
When working with clients, deliver high-quality services that meet their needs and exceed their expectations. Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients can be invaluable in growing your coaching or consulting business.
By following these steps, new bloggers can successfully transition into offering coaching or consulting services based on the success of their blog. It's important to remember that building a successful coaching or consulting business takes time and effort.
WordPress Plugins for a Money Blogging Business
There are some must-have WordPress plugins that should be considered depending on how you are going to monetize your blog. We've outlined some of the essentials per monetization strategy below.
General Must-have WordPress plugins
SEO – Rank Math SEO is a fantastic plugin allowing many features to help with search engine optimization, structured data, keyword tracking, and content improvement.
Price: $59 for unlimited blogs
Speed/Caching – WP Rocket or FlyingPress will help you speed up your website to past CWV tests in Google.
Price: $59 per blog site
Code Management – You need to be able to place a lot of code snippets in the header and footer, like tracking, verification, ad serving, etc. Header Footer Code Manager (HFCM) is the best solution.
Price: Free with an upgrade if needed for $35
We recommend staying away from a free-form plugin as it will restrict you in features and styling. Capturing subscribers is critical for a growing blog.
Price: Free to $199
Affiliate Money Blogging Business
Price: Free version available of Pretty Links, otherwise $159-$199
Sponsored Content Money Blogging Business
No specific plugins are needed beyond what has been mentioned above.
Display Advertising Money Blogging Business
Ad Space Automation – Advanced Ads is a great plugin for helping you plan out and assign your ad space and the placement of the banners based on many different scenarios such as geo, timing, referrer, etc. A must-have for anyone who wants to display ads but isn't hooked into an ad service. It will also control AdSense on your blog.
Price: You'll want the Advanced Ads All Access for €89 ($94.44)
Digital Products Money Blogging Business
Product Management – Easy Digital Downloads is a great plugin for managing downloads you sell on your site. You can also use WooCommerce with specific add-ons to accomplish the same functionality.
Physical Products – If you plan to sell physical products from your site, you'll likely need to use WooCommerce if you are using WordPress or attach a specific eCommerce platform or marketplace onto your site via a subdomain, like shop.mysite.com.
Consulting/Coaching Money Blogging Business
You don't need an additional plugin to start offering consulting and coaching services unless you plan to sell them as online courses or have people pay via a checkout. As previously mentioned, learning management plugins like LearnDash or LifterLMS will help here.
Other Monetization Tactics
We covered the top 5 tactics you can use to make money blogging. There are certainly others that can work as well, depending on the type of blog you operate. Here are a few that we did not highlight.
Creating a community or membership WordPress website is an excellent way to connect with like-minded individuals and build a loyal following. Whether starting a blog or an online store, having a community of engaged visitors is vital for building a successful online presence.
Building a successful community opens up many monetization avenues for your site, including affiliate marketing, membership fees, premium content, digital products, advertising, and sponsored posts.
If you are stagnant and not growing as fast as you want, sometimes it is advisable to open up your website to the world of guest blogging platforms. You can monetize a site with a high DR/DA rating, as people will want to buy guest posts.
Backlinking is still the highest priority for new bloggers and website owners to leverage to try and grow their search engine rankings. You can add your blog to the backlink marketplaces, offer up backlinks in posts or niche edits, and get paid to include those in your blog articles.
Make Money Blogging Wrap-up
There are several ways to monetize your blog, but the key is to build a loyal readership first, regardless of your blog niche. Once you have an audience, you can explore different monetization strategies and find which aligns best with your niche, audience, and goals.
Most bloggers don't rely on a single monetization strategy to make money blogging. They will marry multiple strategies together based on what they know about their audience and how their blog functions. The key to success with this is understanding your blogging niche and the potential to succeed with monetization.
How have you monetized your blog? Have you used any of the strategies listed here? Are there any others you want to share? Please let us know in the comments.
Make Money Blogging FAQs
Can I monetize my personal blog?
Yes, a personal blog can be monetized almost as easily as a business blog, except that you might need to make subtle adjustments to your infrastructure to support the monetization strategy you employ.
Some blogging platforms are better suited for money blogging, like WordPress, so if you have chosen another platform, you might need to make a platform shift to ensure you have a clear path to scaling your blog without running into a deficiency within another platform.
If I started my blog as just a hobby, what do I do to make money?
Start organizing your blog posts to determine which are built for making money and which were just hobby blog posts. That means determining if the information you wrote is relevant to someone other than yourself, friends, family, or colleagues.
You want to ensure you can reach a relevant audience that will take action, meaning click on affiliate links, click on an ad, or some other way to make money. If that doesn't exist, you must restructure your blog to work and speak differently.
What's the advantage of using WordPress for my money blog?
If you intend to make money blogging, you want to ensure you are using a blogging platform that won't have barriers when you want to scale or monetize. WordPress comes with the added advantages of being free out of the box and allows you to make unlimited changes as your blog site grows.
By using WordPress themes and designing a look that matches your brand, you can ensure the audience visiting has the best experience. WordPress plugins extend the features and functionality better than any other system to allow you to get the most out of each of your blog pages.
How do I start my own blog?
There are several ways to start your own blog. The most important is to select the proper web hosting and a custom domain and build it on WordPress to avoid any restrictions later in your blogging journey.
The proper web hosting account will eliminate server and speed issues later on. A custom domain that speaks to your niche is much better than a free domain name issued by buying a monthly plan from a web builder platform. And a WordPress blog will suit your blogging needs well into the future and far beyond what other systems can likely do.
Once you have all these in hand, built and launched, start blogging!