Let’s face it. Phrases like how to make money online, how to make money with a blog and similar sort of other questions sound too catchy. In fact, these questions drive more interest of the general public as compared to any other topic. In fact, lots of people ask this question from me as well. So many times that I decided to write this post.
I remember a discussion with my friend as I was telling him about blogging and how I’m pursuing it as my hobby. Hearing all my “rants”, below is the series of questions and answers between him and me.
Friend: Oh, so you blog?
Friend: So you copy content from different websites and paste them as your own?
Me: No, I write my own content (why the hell did he even ask that?).
Friend: So what do you blog about?
Me: Different topics ranging from accounting and finance to technology and programming, book reviews, gaming and online money making topics such as how can you earn from your blog etc.
Friend (now more interested): Wait a minute. You teach how to make money with a blog?
Now, before going any further, let me tell you one thing.
The concept of online money making is much more discernible in the west. In fact, now people over there don’t get surprised at all if you claim to earn money from the internet full time. This has started to become mainstream for them.
However, over here in Pakistan and other similar countries where the internet hasn’t seeped in that much in the lives of the people as in the west, it becomes difficult for them to get their heads wrapped around this very concept.
Just to understand the situation a bit more, a freelancer earning more than a normal 9 to 5 job going person is still considered as unemployed or jobless. So the fact that there’s a whole new virtual economy shaping up in this world seems to be a bit far-fetched idea for them.
But things are changing for good, people have started to embrace technology in every fold of life. We have Uber and at least 3 other ride-sharing companies and most importantly, they are gaining acceptability among the aged class. Pakistan has become the 4th largest country to provide freelance services globally. So keeping all this in view I hope that within 5-6 years, the online entrepreneurs will not be considered as mutants.
Now, coming back to the discussion with my friend above, people still consider the term of online money making akin to some African princess emailing you desperately to transfer some hefty amount of money in your bank account.
Additionally, when they ask that how can one make money online, they expect someone to share a 2-minutes formula where they have to just add some sugar, spice, and everything nice and poof, money will start pouring in your bank account.
And this is the exact thing my friend had in his mind when he asked, “HOW?”
So keeping all this in view, I decided to write a post in order to discuss the possible ways of how to make money with a blog.
Just keep in mind though that this article is not about making money from the internet as a whole but I have narrowed it down to just blogging. Your very own, personal, online and virtual estate. a.k.a Blog.
Additionally, though I mentioned Pakistan above, but the details discussed are equally applicable at the global level. So it does not matter where you are from. If you are really want to learn about some popular ways to make money blogging, then keep reading, please.
The topics discussed below are generic. If you dig even deeper there are tons of ways you can monetize your blog but they will fall in any one of the categories explained below.
So here are some ways you can make money from your blog.
How to Make Money with a Blog?
Sell your own product
A popular way in this step is be selling a product you created. This could be anything. From the trendy, modified version of “Fidget Spinners” to some sophisticated, e-course related to personal development. Literally anything. Does not matter if the product is tangible or intangible.
If you have your own product at your disposal, you can sell it through your blog. All you need is some handsome traffic and great selling skills.
In fact, almost all of the established brands have their own blogs now. They discuss details of their products present on their main websites. A blog enables them to impart more information about their products and thus becomes easier to convert potential customers into actual “paying” customers.
Affiliate marketing is when you sell others products and make a commission out of it. The original vendor provides you with an “Affiliate Link”, a URL which has your tracking ID. Any customer who logs on to their websites by clicking on your affiliate link is tracked.
if the customer buys anything from the website, you make money in form of commissions. The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to maintain your own inventory as the whole supply-chain is managed by the real owner of the goods. All you have to do is re-direct your visitors towards these websites using your affiliate link.
Similarly, in order for you to make money, it’s not necessary that the customer buys anything. Many websites pay you even if a customer performs a certain action like signing up for a website.
This is called CPA (Cost Per Action) Marketing and it falls under the realm of affiliate marketing because the foundation is same. You share your affiliate link on your blog (you can share it anywhere but since we’re talking about blogging so let’s just keep it confined to blogging), your readers see the link, click it and then perform the action what the target website wants them to do. In return, you get paid.
Coming back to normal affiliate marketing, you can either approach the seller yourself and ask if they have any affiliate program. If yes, then sign up for it and start promoting the product on your blog.
Secondly, there are many “Affiliate Networks” out there who gather affiliate marketers and sellers at one platform.
This provides affiliate marketers with an ease of approaching different sellers at one platform, hence, saves you from the hassle of signing up differently for every product you wish to promote.
Moreover, these affiliate networks also provide you with a back office control panel where you can see your performance and other information about different vendors, numbers of clicks you receive, your total commission etc. In short, the control panel will share every detail possible not only to keep you updated but also to streamline or your marketing efforts.
Some popular affiliate networks currently operating are:
- Commission Junction
A recent hot trend in the online world, this phenomenon is also a sort of Affiliate Marketing where you promote others product. But it has one basic difference.
In affiliate marketing the potential customer buys (or what we call “checkout”) from the sellers own website.
In dropshipping, the buyer checks out from your blog.
So this makes it similar to promoting your own product. Right?
The answer is a big NO. And that’s the beauty of Dropshipping.
In dropshipping, the headache of maintaining inventory lies with the seller. What the dropshipper does is that he collects the order from the customer, hence, the customer pays to the dropshipper.
The dropshipper then takes the order to the original seller and asks them to ship the order to shipping address provided by the customer. You have to pay the seller upfront.
The order completes when a customer gets the delivery. In this whole process, the difference between the price at which you sold the product and the price at which the seller originally sells is your hard earned money. The money you bank.
So in order to get into dropshipping, you first have to settle terms with the seller so that you can offer the same product at the lower price than what the seller actually sells at.
Place Advertisements on your Blog
The most hassle-free way to make money from your blog according to me is that you place advertisements on your blog.
You can approach individuals or companies directly and ask them if they want to promote their products on your blog. Alternatively, you can ask a third party or an agency to find advertisers for you.
Of course, they will charge you either in form of commissions or take their share of the advertising revenue. So you have to keep that cost in mind.
One very famous agency is google which operates its advertising business under the banner of Google Adsense.
These ads, in most of the cases, closely represent the niche of your blog. This improves the click-through rates of those ads.
They pay you for the number of clicks you receive. Also known as CPC (Cost Per Click) or you earn based on the number of impressions you receive on those ads. This is often abbreviated as CPM (Cost per thousand impressions).
It depends on your niche that how much you earn per click or per thousand impressions. However, from my and several other bloggers’ experience, a careful estimate is $1 per thousand page impressions.
If that sounds too less than you can approach the companies directly. This way, you will eliminate the cut of middle-man therefore, will give a larger portion of the cake.
Couple of other agencies like adsense are:
You can also make money with a blog by writing paid reviews. You can review any products, websites, services or anything that companies want to promote.
There are many companies who would pay you for writing reviews about their products, provided that you have some significant readership.
Though this method is closely related to the “ads placement” discussed above but I decided to consider it as a separate category.
The reason is that when you place ads, you don’t have to worry about its content or the “subject” being advertised.
All you have to do is place the ad and that’s it.
However, in paid reviews, you are basically endorsing something. For that, you have to gain some insights about the product yourself before publishing your review.
So the responsibility increases. Second, the product endorsed in a review is much more likely to get a visit by your reader as compared to an ad. Hence, the conversions rate and the click-through rate (CTR) in most cases is greater for a paid reviews.
So you can charge extra for the increased responsibility, improved click-through and conversion rates and that extra effort.
Another side benefit of writing paid reviews is that if you are good enough, you can expect lots of freebies and kinds of stuff from the companies.
They may do this so that you are able to write an even more insightful review about their products.
Place others content on your blog
In case you’re a blogger, I’m sure you must appreciate the true value of unique content. Also the fact that it’s really difficult to keep coming up with good quality content on regular basis. Some blogs even pay to write for them.
However, there’s one way which pays you for placing their content on your blog.
This may sound ridiculous but it’s a fact. In fact, I’m currently hosting content from one such website.
The reason these companies give you valuable content for your website and then even pay for it because they want to promote their products.
Having a team of content writers churning out articles every now and then, they just need their content to be placed at maximum places as possible. In return, they get valuable backlinks and promotion of their products or services.
So this is just like the placement of ads on your blog. However, since this shows up as the main content, as discussed above, the conversion rates are higher.
Publish Premium Content/Membership Blog
Many blogs offer premium content to their readers. Like for e.g., there are quite a few online magazines. They make money by charging either periodic or one-off subscription.
This does not have to be exclusive. You can have both free and premium content on your blog. Put some money on rather more value-adding content.
Needless to say, that to effectively apply this strategy, you need to make sure that the value you’re providing is much more than the value provided by other bloggers or even when compared with your own free content. Otherwise, in the long run, this business model will not succeed.
Ask for Donations
I’m sure you may have seen some blogs or even websites asking for donations from their readers. They do not force anyone. Just place a button with a text “Buy Me A Coffee” or rather more straightforward, “Donate”. The button leads to their payment processing accounts like Paypal etc. so that they can make payments in form of donations.
Though this money making tactic is not the best but still a popular blog is able to pull few bucks in a month.
However, the bottom line is that you need to provide valuable content in order to make convince your visitors to take out their credit/debit cards and donate so that you remain afloat.
So above are all the possible ways to make money from your blog. At least what I can think of on the top of my head right now.
Any online money making opportunity will fall in any one of the categories explained above.
I’m not touching the intricacies of every money making option mentioned above due to the vastness of the topic.
So what I’d request from all the readers is that if you are really interested to make money from a blog or even to make money online, sign up for my newsletter below.
This way you will not miss any valuable information that I plan to disclose in the coming days.
Moreover, if you feel that I missed anything then just leave a message in the comments section. I will make sure to respond at the earliest.