This guide about how to make money blogging is authored by Anna.
These days, everyone and their mother wants to know how to make money blogging. And who can blame them? Blogging can be wildly profitable, but only if you’re strategic about it.
I should know as I’ve been working as a full-time blogger myself for the past five years… but let’s back up a little bit.
You see, before I became a blogger, I worked as a school teacher in my home country, the Philippines. I’d spend long days working with kids, only to come home and tutor in my free time, desperate to save up any money I could.
I worked long 12 hour days just to make ends meet, grinding day in and day out. Eventually, though, I’d had saved enough money to finally pursue my dream of traveling the world.
I quit my job, took all the money that I had saved arduously for years, bought a one-way ticket, and set out on my big trip.
I spent an entire year circling the globe, spending my hard-earned money, and having some of the most unforgettable experiences ever. When I made it back to the Philippines, there was no way I was going back to the life I had before.
With less than $2000 to my name, together with the guy I met in Vietnam, we set out again, this time eager to earn some money while traveling the world. We turned to blogging as a means to fund our adventures while hopping from one country to the next.
But making money blogging wasn’t as easy as it appeared to be.
All the bloggers on my social media feed made blogging seem like a get rich quick scheme. There they were, lounging by pools in Bali, hiking mountains in Argentina and paragliding in Switzerland. They made making money online seem easy!
However, what I quickly learned was that it takes quite a bit of time to earn serious money from a blog, but that it’s absolutely possible as long as you have the drive to make it happen.
How Much Money Can Bloggers Really Make?
When Tom (the one I fell in love with in Vietnam) and I started our travel blog Adventure in You, we spent the first year and a half pulling out all the stops trying to monetize it.
We wrote about our travels, posted on social media, and did all that so we could make some cash.
Eventually, we realized that our strategy wasn’t quite working… So we revamped our approach, began to be strategic with our methods, and slowly started to generate an income from Adventure in You.
Fast forward five years to today, Tom and I have a booming business from our blog, which regularly brings in 5 figures each month. This is more money than I was making as a teacher and Tom was making as an engineer in the UK combined!
On top of earning a cushy income from our travel blog, we earn it passively, which means the money keeps rolling in even when we’re not online. This passive income has allowed us to travel full time and live the life that was once a distant dream. Thank you, blogging!
So many naysayers say that blogging is dead…but the thing is, we believe that it is still very much a profitable industry. You just have to be a bit more strategic about it now. How do we know this?
We are living proof!
The thing is though, we’re not the only ones earning from our blog.
What Are Others Making Blogging?
According to a 2019 professional content creator survey, 39.3% of content creators earn between $500 and $1,999 each month. Even more surprising, 16.4% of content creators earn $2,000 to $4,999 each month. Finally (and most mind-blowing), 20.4% of content creators earn between $5,000 and more than $15,000 every single month.
Editor’s Note: It IS possible to make money blogging. If I can, you can. I earn, on average, around $5,000/month from my blog!
This goes to show that there is real money to be made from blogging and it’s not just a fluke thrown in our faces by influencers online.
In fact, Tom and I believe in the power of blogging so much that we started the Blogging Fast Lane as a way to help other people profit from their passions. After seeing such great success with our own travel blog, we wanted to motivate others to follow their dreams, earn a passive income, and live life on their own terms through blogging.
Side note: We wanted to make sure that we weren’t one of those people who just created a course on how to make money from blogging. We wanted to make sure that we walked the walk and talked the talk so we turned our travel blog into our little blogging guinea pig.
All the strategies that we teach in our course are first tried and tested in our own blog which we document in case studies. Apart from this, we constantly run beta groups to test out new products and publish heaps of valuable information about how to actually profit from blogging on our second blog, Blogging Fast Lane.
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Most Popular Ways Bloggers Make Money
One of the coolest parts of blogging is there isn’t a single way to make money. Actually, there are loads of different ways to monetize your blog and earn an income online.
Here are the most popular methods, many of which we utilize on our own travel blog!
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is our jam and definitely one of the most popular ways bloggers make money.
This process is when a blogger inserts trackable links to a brand or company into their blog content. When a reader clicks on an affiliate link and makes a purchase through it, the blogger receives a commission.
There are affiliate programs for just about everything under the sun. From fitness to food, travel to DIY to general shopping, there are affiliate programs that fit into any niche.
Affiliate marketing allows bloggers to earn a commission from big names like:
But it also works with smaller brands and companies like:
- Hello Fresh
- Free People
This is barely scratching the surface of the affiliate programs available to bloggers. As such, it’s no wonder this strategy is one of the most common ways bloggers make money as there’s truly a fit for everyone!
According to a 2019 study of 1,117 bloggers, 57% of high earning bloggers (making more than $50k per year) use affiliate marketing as a way to generate an income from their blog.
This method is tried, true, and extremely simple which is why it’s one of the most popular ways to make money blogging.
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2. Brand Partnerships & Sponsored Content
Another way to make money blogging is by collaborating with brands within your niche.
Brand partnerships are when a blogger collaborates with a brand or company to share specific products or services on its platform. While the intention is to drive your audience to these specific brands or companies, adding these kinds of posts to your blog should add value to your readers as well.
With Adventure in You, we’ve worked with companies like Airbnb, Housesitters, World Nomads, and more to craft content that’s valuable to our readers while earning money at the same time.
What you can earn with this method totally depends on your audience, blog, and the brand itself, but it can be a pretty solid way to generate a modest income with your blog.
If you have a large social media following, this can be leveraged to land ever-greater brand partnerships who are interested in being in front of all of your follower’s eyes.
To land brand partnerships and sponsored posts, it’s super important to know your audience well and have a deep understanding of what they’re interested in so that you can enter into partnerships that are relevant and useful for your readers.
It’s also extremely helpful if you have a media kit and a “work with us” page on your blog so that brands can understand why you’re the perfect fit for them.
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3. Display Ads
These days, our eyes just glaze over ads online. They’re so common that most people don’t bat an eye at them! But in the online sphere, this can be a really powerful way to make money blogging.
Interested bloggers can go through an ad management company like Google Adsense or Mediavine to place relevant, contextual ads on their websites.
Do you know when you’re surfing the web and see an ad pop up for something you just searched for? Well, this is basically what these ad companies do for bloggers.
This allows bloggers to earn money either based on how many times the ad is clicked (cost per click) or even how many times the ad has been seen (cost per impression)! This means that bloggers can sit back, relax, and watch the advertising money roll in.
While they aren’t our primary source of income, in 2019 we earned $46,000+ from display ads alone. Alone!
In addition to contextual ads, you can also sell ad space on your blog to individual companies who are interested. While this is a less common method for bloggers, it can generate more consistent income as they typically pay a set price on a weekly or monthly basis.
Editor’s note: You’ll notice ads as you scroll through this post. Thank you! This is how I make a chunk of my money! 🙂
4. Digital Products
Besides promoting other people’s products and services, bloggers are actually able to create their own digital products to make money blogging.
These days, digital products can be just about anything. For example, on Adventure in You, we created a series of Southeast Asia guidebooks that popped up for purchase whenever someone landed on our Southeast Asia articles.
In fact, since creating our guides a few years ago, they’ve generated over $14,000- passively over the years! Not bad considering after you create them, every time you make a sale this is all profit!
Some digital products you can consider creating for your blog are:
- Editing presets
- Stock photos
- Recipe cards
- Digital Art
- Planners / Calendars
- Beats or sound effects
- DIY patterns
- Anything else that you can sell online!
While they take some time to develop and require strategic marketing, digital products are a fantastic way for bloggers to use their own skills to create something to sell online.
5. Online Courses
In the same realm as digital products, another way bloggers make money is by creating online courses. These courses typically surround the main blog topic and teach a valuable skill or lesson to an interested audience.
Tom and I are great friends with a digital art blogger who created an online course to teach others how to draw on tablets. We also have our own online course, Blogging Fast Lane, where we teach people how to profit from their passions through blogging.
In both of these instances, we (the bloggers) leveraged our skills to help others… and make some money, too.
Online courses can be sold for a huge amount of money, allowing bloggers to make a really great income while teaching people valuable skills.
It’s a win, win situation for everyone involved!
Although online courses are on the rise, it is important to do your research before investing in one. As an avid course taker myself, we read tons of reviews, testimonials, and do our due diligence before we buy an online program.
6. Physical Products
For bloggers who have seen success with their digital products or who simply want to break away from the online world, physical products are yet another way that bloggers can make money.
Bloggers can go about physical products in two ways: In one instance, they can develop and create a product of their own that they sell through their blog and ship themselves. On the other hand, bloggers can also take part in dropshipping, where they sell a physical product directly from a wholesaler.
With dropshipping, bloggers basically act like a middleman between customers and the wholesaler. This is a highly sought after deal because bloggers don’t have to keep track of any inventory or fulfill shipments… They just have to allow orders to be placed through their websites.
While it takes a while to get off the ground, if a blogger finds a physical product that their audience wants to consistently buy, this can be a very powerful way to make money blogging.
A final way to make money blogging is by offering up your unique services through freelancing. Freelancing generally means utilizing your skills to complete a task for someone else. Freelancing pays pretty well (though it heavily depends on the job) and is an outstanding way to meet and collaborate with other people in your field!
Some freelancing options for bloggers may be:
- Writing content
- Taking photos
- Running social media/curating social feeds
- Developing a product
But these freelancing jobs can even be specific to your blogging niche like:
- Travel bloggers planning trips
- Food bloggers creating meal plans
- Fitness bloggers creating workouts
- DIY bloggers creating art projects
No matter what it is, freelancing is a stellar method of making money blogging because it allows you to put your true skills to work where they’re needed the most.
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Are you absolutely blown away by all the ways that people can make money blogging? It’s pretty astounding all the options out there to earn money remotely. If you have told me five years ago that I’d be living off of money generated by my blog, I probably would have laughed in your face. But now, I can’t imagine a better way to earn an income and live life on my own terms.
If you’re hoping to make money from blogging, remember to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight! You have to be strategic about your methods and remember the Compound Effect, which means that while you may not be seeing results now, they’ll compound down the road to turn into something great.
Anna is the writer behind the popular travel blog Adventure in You and the creator behind the course the Blogging Fast Lane. Together with her partner Tom, they help creatives profit from their passions and achieve time freedom through blogging.