Yeah, I know … posts like this can get really corny at times.
I mean, it seems that there’s more advice out there on monetizing a blog than you can shake a stick at (provided you shake sticks at advice).
Yet, when I was doing research for this article, I found that there’s apparently no master-list – something that would cover more than, say, 20 techniques.
So I’ve decided to do even more research, gather as many methods as I can, and put them together all in one place. And here it is! I hope you’ll get some cool ideas going through this list.
(In no particular order.)
1. Membership programs and subscriptions
Aka. premium content.
The idea is simple (but not necessarily easy). A subscription offer is based on people paying extra to get access to a premium area of your blog. The content you’re providing there shouldn’t be available through any other channels (especially free channels).
The technical side is quite easy with plugins such as Membership.
2. Consulting services
Essentially, there are two paths to blog monetization: passive income and active income. Offering consulting services is probably the most active way of making money possible.
The difficult part is building up your expertise and status in the niche before you can reach out to clients.
3. Blog flipping
Probably the most straightforward way to make money from a blog is to sell it (on Flippa, for example).
Even if you’re struggling to monetize your blog in any other way, some people can still be interested in buying it from you.
Not to mention that there are hundreds of entrepreneurs out there who do blog flipping professionally (they buy existing blogs, grow them for a while, sell them, and repeat the process).
4. Private forums
Depending on your niche, and the level of user engagement on your blog, you might be able to launch a private forum where people have to pay for access. Usually works best in passion-driven niches like weight loss, business, or dating.
AdSense needs no introduction. It’s a widely popular platform used by tens of thousands of sites. And it’s also the easiest way to start making money from your blog (not necessarily the most profitable way, though).
All you need is a free AdSense account. The official tutorials will take you through the whole setup process.
6. Selling ads yourself
Let’s take a step back for a while. AdSense is a platform where you just sign up, get a piece of code, include it on your site, and from that point on, it’s AdSense that takes care of serving the ads, tracking, and hopefully sending you a check at the end of the month.
In comparison, when you’re selling ads yourself, this is all on you. You have to find advertisers, pitch them on the idea of buying ad space from you, and then handle all the other aspects of the transaction.
7. Freelance blogging
Blogging is truly huge nowadays! With such a volume of posts being published every month (42.6 million), no wonder that some site owners simply can’t handle everything on their own.
This is where you can come into the picture. Find your target (the blog you want to write for), reach out with a good proposal and offer your freelance blogging services. There are some great proposal resources for freelance writers and bloggers created by the guys at Bidsketch.
Note. You don’t have to limit yourself to just blogs. Literally every other website that publishes regular content becomes a possible target for you.
Speaking from my own experience, making money this way is often way more attainable than trying to build passive income streams.
8. Freelancing in general
Freelance blogging was based on monetizing your writing/blogging skills. But there’s really nothing keeping you from monetizing any other skills you possess.
For example, maybe you’re an interior designer who has an interior design blog? You can still get some cool freelance gigs directly through your blog if you just position yourself properly.
9. Other ad networks
AdSense is undoubtedly the leader in contextual advertising, but they are not the only player around.
10. Affiliate networks – text links
The main idea behind affiliate marketing is that other businesses pay you for promoting their products and generating sales.
One way to do it is through strategically placed text links (within your blog posts).
11. Affiliate reviews
This is a more labor-heavy form of affiliate marketing. What you do is write a review of the product you want to promote, and add your affiliate link at the bottom.
The idea is that when someone is thinking about purchasing a given product, they often look for some reviews of the product first. So if you get in front of them with your review, there’s a very good change they will click your link and then buy the thing.
Of course, don’t do fake affiliate reviews (ones where you actually haven’t even used the product yourself or even seen it).
12. Amazon ads
Amazon is one of the biggest affiliate networks out there. The way you make money with them is very similar to any other network.
Just sign up to the Amazon Associates program, grab some links pointing to specific products from their massive store (as an affiliate, you can promote anything that’s in the store), and then publish them on your blog.
13. Sponsored posts
This covers posts that you are paid to write, as well as posts that other people send to you and pay for the possibility to have them published on your blog.
Usually a good method for sites that have already built a reputation in their niches.
14. Monthly sponsorships
Similar to regular sponsored posts, but this time the advertiser buys a sponsorship package for the whole month. As a result, the advertiser’s promotional banner/link is visible under every post on your blog that entire month.
15. Business partnerships
This is a very broad category. In its core, it’s based on striking a deal with another blogger to participate in a project together.
It can be an e-book project, some other product launch, software project, or even an agreement where you and your partner refer freelance clients to each other.
16. Making money blogging by teaching people how to make money blogging
Honestly, I’m only putting this on the list out of pure frustration that this is apparently still a viable business model for some bloggers out there.
I’m not a fan, but since it’s an actual thing, on the list it goes!
17. Info and education products
Based on selling information and teaching people how to master a particular skill.
Note. The info you’re selling shouldn’t be available elsewhere for free.
Somewhat similar to info products, but e-books have a specific form, presentation, and generally, people have set expectations about what a quality e-book should look like.
So whatever you do, don’t just compile a basic Word doc, save it as PDF and call it an e-book. Try preparing something a bit more special.
19. Software and apps
Developing a new piece of software or an app can cost a lot of money, but it is a popular business model regardless.
Likely the best way to capitalize on this concept is to create an app that solves a specific pain that your average visitor faces, rather than just creating a mobile app for your blog (one where people get easier access to your content).
20. Webinars to product sales
Webinars are the new hot topic these days. For example, one of the more popular podcasters in the business category, John Dumas makes more than $100k a month through webinars.
The idea is to get people to a webinar, provide value on a given topic, and then offer the listeners the next step up in a form of a paid product.
21. Selling exclusive webinars and seminars
The method above was about inviting people to a free webinar and then selling hem on your product later on. This is about making the webinar the actual product.
It’s a technique that Social Media Examiner has been using successfully since its beginnings.
22. Guest posting to product sales
This method was explained in detail on this blog a while ago by Milica Pantic.
The basic idea is this: you land some carefully crafted guest posts on reputable blogs, and then link them to your site, where you have something special waiting for the people coming in – a product that’s related to the post.
23. Guest blogging to freelance gigs
Similar to the above, but this time we’re aiming to get freelance clients, instead of product sales.
24. T-shirts and other merchandise
People still love t-shirts, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
Besides, these days selling t-shirts is very simple (from a technical point of view). Sign up to Teespring and see for yourself.
25. Speaking opportunities
Although this usually isn’t a possibility for newbie bloggers, it is a possibility nonetheless. You will need a reputation in the niche before you will be able to go after speaking gigs and conference appearances, but once you get in, it tends to pay well. At least according to the people who do it professionally.
26. Donations / tip jars
Because … hey, why not?
Tip jars are a fairly common thing on the web. Putting one up on the sidebar of your site costs you nothing, so it’s basically free money, even if all you get is $1 a month.
Feel free to comment and share your own ideas for blog monetization. Is there anything that you didn’t think would work but did?