Blogging can turn out to be an excellent source of income if you play your cards right. Sure, a fair few bloggers treat the whole thing as a means to express themselves. Some simply want to share their thoughts with an audience they build over time, whereas others publish short snippets of stories instead of becoming book writers, to name a couple of examples. On the other hand, if your aim is to monetize the content, then you have plenty of different options to consider. It can be tricky to determine what works and what does not unless you actually try it.
Moreover, there is the problem of pushing monetization on your readers. Going too far can backfire, especially if the blog becomes nothing but a source to make money for a blogger.
It is crucial to weigh different options and what they mean. Otherwise, you stand to waste resources while other bloggers are making a profit.
#1 – Custom Merchandise to Monetize your Blog
Let’s start with custom merchandise. It is popular for brands to offer an audience a plethora of various print-on-demand products. And you do not have to be an established business. Being a relatively known blogger is enough.
Creating a store on a third-party website and linking it to your blog means that the site will not be spammed with links, making it easier to focus on the content for readers.
If the merchandise is related to the blog, you stand an even bigger chance of selling it. Instead of general stuff, like t-shirts with funny quotes, etc., you could look for a way to incorporate the merch into the theme of the blog.
For example, if your blog is about hiking or working out, you could focus on custom water bottles one can take on a hike or when one visits a gym. Or, if the blog covers traveling, why not provide your readers with some custom notebooks that they can take together with them to record their journeys?
That is not to say that general merchandise pieces are out of the question. They are perfectly fine, but selling such products to a specific audience is usually harder.
#2 – Ads
Ad networks were the go-to option for many years for those who wanted to monetize a website. However, the popularity decreased over time for two reasons.
The first is the fact that better monetization alternatives appeared. The second is that more and more people are installing ad blocker extensions, nullifying the effectiveness of online ads. At least on desktop computers. Mobile devices are still not that advanced in offering ad block solutions.
Having said all that, ads are still a viable option, so long as you pick a good ad network and do not go overboard with spamming the website, causing lags and other problems for the visitors.
#3 – Guest Posts and Links to Monetize your Blog
As an owner of a blog with decent traffic and interesting content, you can consider monetizing it by collaborating with other content creators.
Link building is a popular way to boost SEO and improve traffic, and plenty of site owners are looking for opportunities to publish guest posts or insert links in already published articles on a blog.
One downside to this method is that you are bound to receive offers that might sound great on paper but can be detrimental to the overall health of your blog, especially looking long-term.
Just because someone offers a few hundred dollars to insert a link, you should not accept it because the URL redirects to a landing page about loans, cryptos, casinos, and other questionable niches.
Another aspect to consider is how much you have to be mindful of potential copyrights and AI-generated content. The latter, in particular, is quite prominent with the rise of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence tools.
Finally, the article quality itself (if we are talking about guest posts) has to be monitored. You do not want to publish a piece of content that fails to meet the usual quality of your blog, right? And looking the other way, just because someone pays extra is hardly the right way to do it.
#4 – Affiliate Links
Affiliate marketing is about getting people to click on a link and have them complete a call to action, such as making a purchase, registering for a newsletter, or signing up for a free software trial.
Each successful conversion earns you a commission. As a blogger, you can insert affiliate links directly in the content under anchor texts or create separate banners that appear on the edge of the website (similar to ads).
Again, while the method has clear upsides, it can also be challenging to present affiliate links in a way that does not become a dominating aspect of the articles and the site itself. If you choose the idea, be sure to test different variations and avoid spamming the content with too many links.
#5 – Crowdfunding to monetize your blog
Crowdfunding is an excellent source to monetize your blog and is popular among content creators. YouTubers, streamers, writers, designers, comic makers, etc., leave everything in the hands of their audiences.
Creating a Patreon page, for example, and coming up with multiple tiers that each offer exclusive rewards and such encourage even more contributors.
Besides, this method is great because it does not overburden the website with advertisements. You can simply create a section in the header titled Support/Crowdfunding etc., and redirect site visitors there so they know how to support the blog.
#6 – Sell Digital Goods
In a way, a blog is a digital good by itself since you are providing content to the people who visit the website. However, you still need to find an actual way to make money.
Digital goods can be an answer. E-books, webinars, and other digital products have value, but as someone who already runs a blog, you might find it difficult to maintain that in addition to creating digital goods.
If so, perhaps finding someone to collaborate with might be the best option. You can curate the content instead of creating it from scratch. This way, you can ensure the quality is there, and there is no need to dedicate that many personal resources to it.
To sum it all up, there are multiple ways to make money as a blogger. It is up to you what you prefer and whether you are willing to combine multiple methods and test different ideas.
Early on, you might find the numbers lacking, but as you focus more on the monetization aspect, you are bound to find something that works for you. And from there, it is about scaling the idea and finding different approaches that should increase the income further.