5 ways to make money with your blog in 2021
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Wondering how to make money with your blog in 2021?
It’s the question everyone asks and, oddly enough, the most awkward to explain to people. Why? Because making money with a blog isn’t traditional by any means, even if it seems like everyone has one these days.
I first started blogging professionally in 2017 and knew I wanted to make money with it eventually. How I was actually going to do that was still pretty lost on me though. Can you relate? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
Blogging is a great way to express your creative side, share a passion project, or try a new hobby, but it’s just as great when it comes to making some extra money, too.
I have personally leveraged a number of these techniques to make money with my blog and transition into a new career as a copywriter. Even though I’m in the corporate world, I’m still able to make a passive income with my blog and work 100% remotely because of my blog and the opportunities it’s afforded me.
While making money blogging overnight is pretty unlikely, with time, patience, and consistency, your blog can make you a side income or become a full-time source of income for you, too!
How to make money with your blog
First things first. If you don’t have a blog, then you’re going to want to read this post on how to start a self-hosted blog as monetizing free blogs is both limiting and difficult. I recommend getting both your domain and hosting with Siteground.
I’ve been a customer of theirs for three years and love the reliability and speed when it comes to my website’s performance, plus they have an epic customer support team (who I haven’t had to disturb in a long time thankfully). While Siteground is a little pricier compared to some of the more popular blog hosting solutions out there, you truly get what you pay for. I had a surge in traffic just as everyone went into lockdown and my site never crashed thankfully, even though I had a basic plan at the time.
Once you have your blog sorted, here are just a handful of ways that you can start making money with it.
Offer freelance services.
The fastest way to make money as a new blogger, and the first method everyone should try in my opinion, is freelancing. Freelancing is the easiest way to make money when you’re just starting a blog because it requires the least amount of work. If you have one article written, then you can pitch freelance writing services and get paid. While I don’t recommend it because having at least three articles to showcase your talents to potential clients will improve your chances, the possibility is certainly there.
Focus areas or specialties that are great for freelance writers and are currently in high demand include direct response copywriting, blog or content writing, social media copy, and UX writing. The awesome thing about blogging is that there are a lot of non-writing tasks involved too, like SEO, web and graphic design, digital marketing, and project management. So, feel free to pitch or look for those types of gigs, too, if you have a knack or preference for them.
Join ad networks.
Getting approved by an advertising network is a quick and easy way to start earning money with your blog. Ad networks display banner ads on your website, and there are two ways to generate revenue with them:
- CPC (Cost per click) ads: Each time a reader or customer clicks an ad, you are paid for that click.
- CPM (Cost per 1,000 impressions) ads: These ads pay you a set amount based on the number of people who view your ad.
While there are numerous ad networks geared for beginner bloggers such as Google AdSense and Media.net, I personally didn’t find them worthwhile as a new blogger. It’s easy to obsess over a handful of page views and $0.14 gains, which is a surefire way to get discouraged and lose sight of the actual objective. So, I typically don’t recommend ad networks until you’ve reached a certain amount of traffic and have a better idea of how to blog.
With that in mind, you should shape your traffic goals towards the ad network(s) you want to join if you plan on using this method as a revenue stream some day. I read enough lifestyle blogs to know that Mediavine was #goals and didn’t apply for advertising until I crossed their threshold (it was 25,000 sessions at the time; now it’s 50,000 sessions).
There are ad networks like Ezoic and Monumetric, both of which have a 10,000 sessions per month requirement. I have no experience with them, but I have heard positive things about them, so they may be worth researching.
Promote affiliate products.
If you don’t have any products of your own, then promoting other products you use or love is a great way to make money with your blog. Affiliate marketing claims a large portion of incomes for bloggers, and it’s not unusual to hear of bloggers in the tech, beauty, and personal finance spaces making tens of thousands of dollars per month just from affiliate revenue.
People want to buy and they want to buy from people they trust. This is just one of the reasons why it’s important to build relationships and provide value to your readers.
Here’s a list of popular affiliate marketing programs for a variety of niches:
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, then you’ll want to check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. It’s created by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents and is an “affiliate marketing 101” type of course. Michelle walks you through affiliate marketing strategies that she’s used to go from $0 to over $50,000 per month in affiliate income herself.
The best way to make money with affiliate products is by creating blog posts about the affiliate content you’re promoting. I bought this course years ago and recently went back to it to help me monetize a viral blog post and structure a post I wrote for an affiliate product. It worked. I made multiple affiliate sales for the first time, and it was super quick and easy to do.
Pitch brands for sponsored posts.
Getting paid to write or create sponsored content is increasingly becoming a lucrative stream of income for bloggers and influencers. Basically, you get paid to write or create content about a brand, product, or service you love.
Bloggers are expected to create a well-written post and include high-quality images, media, or whichever deliverables she and the brand or company agree upon with a goal of educating the reader on details on the product or service, her experience using it, and how it can benefit them. Typically, you can find these types of jobs one of three ways:
- Pitch brands you want to work with directly.
- Apply for gigs on sponsored post networks.
- Brands reach out to you.
The best route to go if you’re a newer blogger is to join a sponsored content network. These are companies that connect brands with bloggers who can help them promote their products or services. Signing up is usually straightforward and involves you creating a profile or account. From there, you’ll receive sponsored content opportunities that you can apply for if it’s a good fit for you, your blog, and your readers.
Here’s a list of networks you can join to find gigs for sponsored content:
Each network has different criteria with top tier networks like Linqia having tougher admission requirements. Nonetheless, there’s a platform for everyone, and the more detailed you are with your profile and pitches or applications, the better your odds.
Sell your own products.
Selling your own products is the holy grail when it comes to making money with your blog. Why? Because the options of what to sell as well as your earning potential are both in your control and limitless. From digital to physical, you can sell anything from eBooks to journals to your own handmade candles. And your blog is the perfect tool to promote it.
None of the methods mentioned in this post are “get rich quick” schemes, but that’s especially true when it comes to creating your own products. It requires a lot of time, research, and sometimes money invested upfront before there’s even a product available to sell. Once it’s made, however, the fun part begins: telling the world about your product and making sales.
Here are a number of products you can sell with your blog:
Clothes, lingerie, and accessories
Natural hair products
Set yourself up for success and start planning.
Learning how to make money blogging in 2021 and accomplishing it is absolutely possible, but in order to set yourself up for success, you have to plan accordingly. Learn how to make SMART goals for your money-making ambitions and get started on making your dream of owning a profitable blog come true!
Did you find this blog post helpful? Do you have questions about how these tips can work for your blog? Leave comments below!