Written by Michael Keenan

December 24, 2019

So you want to learn how to monetize a blog, right? Making money blogging may seem like hard work, and it is, but blog monetization can be a great way to earn passive income and build a sustainable blogging business.

There are 600 million blogs in the world, according to Growth Badger, and many of these blogs are monetized, providing passive income or lead generation. If you’ve invested time and money into setting up a blog, writing premium content, and putting it all together, it only makes sense to get paid for your efforts.

Luckily, making money through blogging has never been more accessible. Thousands of people have gone from blogging as a hobby to earning a six-figure per month income. But you’re probably wondering, is it possible to monetize a blog from day one?

A significant percentage of blogs don’t generate revenue. One survey, published by Blog Tyrant, asked 350 bloggers how much they are making a year from their blogs. Almost 70% of all respondents surveyed reported zero earnings.

Growth Badger, a content marketing experimental blog run by growth expert Kyle Byers, covers step by step how he began making money off his blog. The reality is, he wasn’t able to monetize his blog until about a year after he grew a subscriber list and saw higher rankings in Google. 

List building is an essential part of monetizing any blog. Once you build a list, you’re able to create deeper ties with readers and upsell them on products and services. 

All it takes is time and effort to implement the right monetization and marketing strategies to start making money from your blog. Here are six practical and actionable ways you can monetize a blog in 2020.

Top eight ways to monetize a blog

1. Leverage Google AdSense

The easiest way to make money blogging is through good old Google AdSense. Simply put, it allows you to make money using a pay-per-click approach. 

Once you set up AdSense on your blog, Google will display a variety of ads across your blog to appeal to your target audience. Each time a visitor clicks on an ad, you make money. The amount of money you can earn through Google AdSense depends on the quality and traffic of your blog. Naturally, the more traffic you get, the more money you’ll make. 

Keep in mind that your blog needs to be approved for Google AdSense before you can start making any money. Make sure to check these requirements for approval and take a look at our Google AdSense video to learn how to set up your account.

2. Build relationships with Chat Marketing

Once you’re bringing traffic to your blog, you want to capture new readers and grow your subscriber lists. Similar to email list sign-up forms, you can place widgets on your website where readers can subscribe via Messenger

For example in ManyChat, you can place:

  • Header bars that scroll with users to increase conversions. 
  • Slide-in forms that pop up in the corner of your page.
  • Page takeover, or full-screen forms with a CTA.
  • Box forms that embed into every page.
  • Buttons, the Messenger window in the bottom right corner of your page. 

There are many different options on how to display widgets on your blog. You can set widgets to pop-up when someone goes to leave the page, a floating bar with CTA, and even sticky CTA’s that scroll with your readers. For more on how to add a widget to your site, we recommend reading our Overlay Widget support article

Remember to offer a lead magnet to encourage people to subscribe. You want to give readers something in return for their information. Once you get people into the bot and taking action on your messages, you can direct them to other channels: back to your blog, YouTube channel, affiliate links, SMS — these are all great ways to keep readers in your ecosystem to upsell to them later on. 

Want to make money from your blog? Get a free ManyChat account today to get started.

3. Test products

If one of your goals is to sell products to subscribers, you can use Bryan Harris’s product validation method to make it happen.

Unlike building a massive audience before monetizing, product validation provides a clear view of whether or not people will buy your product. It includes sending a product description or sales pitch to a small group of subscribers and asking if they want to buy your product. 

If they say yes, you can send them a pre-sale purchase link. If they don’t buy, then you know it’s not a good fit. The trick is, if a lot of people buy, you have to build the product. The process is working for blogger Kyle Byers. After he reached out to 75 subscribers, 2 ended up buying a $499 product on pre-sale. His next steps are to send to more groups, improve the offer based on feedback, and increase the price down the road. 

The same logic if you are selling a digital product. Whether you’re selling something someone can hold in their hand, a piece of software, or just generating interest in your blog, the lesson is the same—validate your product to your target audience before committing.

4. Use affiliate marketing

Another great way to monetize a blog from day one is through affiliate marketing. There are two things you need for this type of monetization: heavy traffic and marketing knowledge. Even though it takes a bit of extra work, affiliate marketing can be one of the most profitable strategies for making money online (specifically through blogging).

Affiliate marketing involves selling other companies’ products on your blog and earning a commission for each sale you make. To be successful at affiliate marketing, you have to choose products that are related to your niche. 

For example, you could become a Shopify affiliate or Amazon Associate if you run an e-commerce blog. You could also explore opportunities on an affiliate marketing platform such as ShareASale or ClickBank.

One thing to keep in mind for affiliate marketing is that your blog needs to have an engaged and targeted audience. If you’re not getting a lot of traffic right now, focus on refining your blog positioning and growing an audience before you look into referral programs and affiliate network strategies.

5. Host virtual summits

Virtual summits like webinars and virtual conferences are often used to build trust and generate more leads for bloggers. For example, if you are having trouble building a mailing list, you can offer your readers a chance to sign up for a free webinar where you will discuss certain subjects of interest to them.

Virtual summits are also proven methods of building better reader engagement. According to one case study, a blogger was able to expand his mailing list by 600% with one single summit. You may also use these events as a platform to sell certain products affiliated to your blog.

6. Promote sponsored posts

A sponsored post is an article commissioned by a third party to promote its product or service to your audience. Some may call it “influencer marketing”, but regardless, it’s an effective way to make money online.

Imagine you are running a successful blog that focuses on stock trading. A stockbroker may ask you to write a sponsored article talking about their service and what you think about them. Sponsored posts are mostly promotional. They are designed to give third-party companies visibility among your readers. 

Depending on your niche, you may even use sponsored content as a form of premium content. Not only do sponsors help pay the bills directly, but attracting quality traffic is a great way to boost ad revenue.

There is no standard fee for a sponsored post or for sponsored content. The amount paid is negotiated between the third party company and the blogger. However, authoritative blogs that get loads of traffic have better leverage to negotiate better fees. The biggest challenge with sponsored posts is finding a third party company to partner with. Sites like Cooperatize, Sponsored Reviews, and Tomoson may have some profitable opportunities to explore.

7. Sell online courses

Creating and selling online courses is great for blog monetization. If you have an audience and niche (which if you’re blogging, you should definitely have a niche), online courses can help attract new customers and drive real revenue for your blog. You can also use it as a lead magnet by giving away free modules to build your audience.

Take Ben Collins for example. Ben launched a blog about Google Sheets at the end of 2014. Over the years he documented his learning process on the blog. He didn’t plan to build an audience or make money online full-time. In 2018, the blogger brought in over $80,000 in revenue selling online courses from the blog.

Take the following steps to get start:

  1. Put together a list of the biggest issues an audience has in your niche.
  2. Document your solutions to their problems.
  3. Draft a course outline.
  4. Create course content using a platform like Teachable or Podia.
  5. Promote your course on social media and to your subscriber list.

Start with the basics above. Then test and improve your online course over time based on customer feedback and trending issues. It might be hard work, but it’ll be worth it over time as you start monetizing your blog.

8. Create a membership site

A membership site is the key piece of your blog monetization strategy. It’s an effective way to bring recurring revenue and creates a better experience for your audience. A good membership site platform can also double as an e-commerce store and customer management platform. You can sell coaching, services, and complementary products based on customers behaviors and interactions.

FAQ’s: How to Monetize a Blog

How many views to do you need to monetize a blog?

Odds are your blog traffic won’t click on advertisements. You’ll need hundreds of thousands of visitors to start earning money from Adsense. Successful bloggers typically make $0.008 per page view, meaning you’ll need 6.25 million page views to make money online from banner ads.

Do bloggers make money online?

Yes. Successful bloggers use a multi-stream monetization method or model to start earning money. To make money blogging, you can:

  • Earn passive income from affiliate programs
  • Add Google AdSense or banner ads to their blogging platform
  • Sell online courses
  • Open an e-commerce store and sell products online
  • Host podcasts in their niche

Get started monetizing your blog

With so many ways to monetize a blog going into 2020, it is becoming more difficult not to make money off it. All you need is to follow our guide on how to monetize your blog and put the effort into growing and attracting a loyal audience.

As long as you focus on smart marketing and good content creation, you will be on the right path to running a successful online blogging business.

Monetizing your blog is hard work. With ManyChat, you can easily turn readers into subscribers, share affiliate marketing content, and make money blogging. Try it today free.