If I’m not within my blogging circles, I often get asked how bloggers make money. If you’re not in the circle it’s hard to conceptualize how publishing stuff on your own website can actually generate income.
This compelled me to publish a couple of income reports on my own site where I really detailed how I made money in a given quarter. However, I still get questions from people I meet at local events or people who are just getting started online.
In an effort to clear up any confusion, here are the multiple ways bloggers actually make money.(Note: These are also the ways you can make money as a freelancer and blogger.)
When first starting out, most bloggers make money by providing services. For example, if you’re a freelance writer you would offer your writing services to other blogs who are ready to outsource the writing portion of their websites.
Over time, the bloggers make money from coaching or consulting. This starts to happen pretty naturally as people begin to ask you how you’ve been able to build a business.
Services aren’t just limited to writing though. I’ve seen bloggers make online money with social media management, design, Pinterest management, tech management, video creation and more.
Ads, Sponsorship & Affiliates
Once they get some traction, bloggers make money with ads and sponsorships. They could use an ad network like Google AdSense (this would require a whole lot of traffic) or perhaps they just sell ads directly to companies they partner with.
Another way bloggers make money is through sponsorship. It’s the same concept as an ad except perhaps the blogger is participating in a marketing campaign or writing reviews. Essentially, the company sponsors content created in partnership with the blogger.
Lastly, bloggers make money through affiliate sales. This is when they recommend a product or service and then get a commission for a referral.
These monetization methods can become extremely lucrative over time. For example, I just landed my first large corporate sponsor and the bank account is pleased. The Budgetnista makes a lot of money by partnering with companies and Making Sense of Cents makes thousands each month from affiliate commissions.
The next way in which bloggers make money is by selling their own products. This can include books, e-courses, classes, membership sites and more.
This takes some time to create, but it’s important to note that these things build off of each other. For example, my book sales on Amazon increased as soon as I also published an accompanying workbook.
You can also use products as a stepping stone for other ventures. For example, it’s easier for me to get sponsorship when I mention that I have an Amazon best-selling book. At the end of the day, it’s about learning how to become strategic.
The reality is bloggers make money in a variety of ways. As you build your own blog you begin to layer in multiple streams of income over time. Granted, none of this happens overnight but it is well worth the time, effort and sometimes money required to make it happen.