With the number of bloggers in 2020 estimated to be around 31.7 million, it’s clear that creating and sharing original content can be very lucrative. Huge shifts in marketing and media over the last few years have paved the way for entrepreneurs to make a serious income through blogging.
Many people have also been able to successfully turn their passion into a full-time career. Though it’s easy to post content onto the Internet, not every online blog generates income. It’s also important to understand that new ideas take time to gain traction and it takes time to turn hard work into cash flow. The key is to lay a solid foundation so that you’re ready when these moments do arrive.
I’ve made a list of tips that can help steer you on the way to making serious income from blogging. These are 10 sure-fire ways to make money.
1. Have a website.
Owning your domain is a must if you want to make money from blogging. WordPress has free templates available and Squarespace has many design options that can help you create a great looking website. However, you will need to pay for hosting through sites such as BlueHost or GoDaddy to generate revenue.
Having your own website allows you to do various things to generate income, such as run Google ads or negotiate with companies for advertising space and ideas. A website that gets a thousand clicks per day can earn around $450 monthly. Your website is the first step to being a successful blogger and it’s important not to overlook it.
2. Use video.
While video has also created a spinoff of the more traditional blog (aka vlogging), video content is one of the best ways to add income. Over 65% of people are visual learners, and video has deeply integrated itself into our everyday life thanks to the rise of the smartphone.
By using video, you can also take advantage of additional revenue streams like Adsense on Youtube.
3. Set up a Patreon account.
Many people would love to support your blog because your content provides them with value. It takes a lot of courage to start a blog, and you could be inspiring others without even knowing it. Give them the chance to share in your journey. Patreon allows you to accept monthly contributions, and also to set up rewards and perks for different levels of engagement. There are currently 3 million users on Patreon supporting approximately 100,000 creators. The average patron contributes $12 (USD).
4. Grow your presence on social media.
There are so many revenue streams available via social media due to it becoming a focal point of marketing and advertising strategies. With 42% of the world’s population using social media, it will only continue to grow as a major advertising channel. Combining elements of your blog with your social accounts will help to solidify that you are an authority in your niche.
As your numbers of followers grow and engage with you, companies that align with your brand will want to be able to connect with your audience. You can select the types of products, experiences, or services that fit best with your blog and promote them in exchange for a fee. This is a space where the amount of revenue available to you will only continue to grow as your blog reaches new people.
5. Use affiliate marketing.
Rather than waiting for companies and brands to reach out to you, you can actively look for products that you love and incorporate them into your blog aesthetic. Affiliate programs give you a percentage of the sales that are made when people click through a link that is directly linked to a specific IP address. They range from traditional affiliate programs, such as Amazon, to podcast services, such as Audible. It’s possible to find programs that organically fit with your brand image and overall style without feeling like you’re overselling to your readers/viewers. The average commission rate is between 5% to 30%.
6. Design merch.
But I’m an entrepreneur, not a clothing designer you say. Don’t write off merch just yet. It can be a huge income opportunity, because everyone needs clothes, and people love owning unique things. Many YouTubers use this strategy, running limited edition collections that are inspired by their brand. Creators with 50,000 views per month can earn up to $3,480 a month from merch sales. Get creative, there’s so much more than T-shirts that can be made, and there are many platforms where you can print items on demand, with no upfront cost. Do you have any catchphrases you use in your writing that would go well on merch? Maybe you have motivational quotes that would look great on a calendar? Quality merchandise can help fuel your blog income.
7. Create digital products.
Chances are you are very knowledgeable about the topics you cover on your blog. You can sell this expertise and help people who are interested in starting a blog or are looking to acquire some of the skills that you’ve cultivated. Think about what you can offer to other people in the form of online courses and workshops. Learning is an important part of life, and something that we are used to and comfortable spending money on. And because your courses will be digital, your students can live anywhere in the world. Many of the world’s leading universities are starting to offer online courses and degrees, and sites like Coursera are boasting record numbers. Indeed, the site had 40 million learners in 2019. Find a way to teach your passion with others.
8. Be consistent.
Everyone is competing for attention online right now. Your blog is competing with major brands, Netflix, sports games, “The Bachelor,” and everything in between. The reason people continue to return to these programs and companies is because they offer consistency and a welcomed sense of routine in an often sporadic world. Have clear intentions about what your blog is about and make sure you post engaging content regularly. Give people a reason to return and you will see the results. Studies show that people who blog have, on average, a higher audience retention. Blogs that post daily get 5 times more traffic.
9. Create a podcast.
An estimated 62 million people listen to podcasts in the U.S. every week. Podcasts are an excellent way to share opinions and thoughts from your blog in an audio form. This allows your followers another way to connect with you if they don’t have the time or energy to read. Hearing your voice also helps to create a more personal connection with followers. There are additional monetary opportunities here as well. You can sell ad space featuring mini commercials of products that you like or that fit with your brand.
10. Get hired to be a public speaker.
There are conferences and company retreats worldwide that are looking for people to not only inspire but also help validate certain topics or beliefs at their events. This can be a great opportunity not only to travel (creating additional content you can share with your audience) but to also make serious money. As a public speaker, you can make between $500 to $35,000 (USD) per speaking engagement. You will also generate additional public awareness, which can turn into more online readers, helping to grow your audience as you expand your business.