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 website, writing blog 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 your blog in 2021.
6 ways to monetize your blog
- Google AdSense ads
- Messenger marketing
- Product validation
- Affiliate marketing
- Virtual summits
- Sponsored blog posts
1. Google AdSense ads
The easiest way to make money blogging is through good old Google Ads. Simply put, it allows you to make money selling ad space on your blog.
Once you set up AdSense on your blog, Google will show a variety of display ads across your blog to appeal to your target audience. Each time a visitor clicks on a banner 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 organic 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. Messenger Marketing
Once you’re bringing traffic to your blog, you want to capture new readers and grow your subscriber lists. Similar to email 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 take action on your messages, you can direct them to other channels: back to your blog, YouTube channel, affiliate links — these are all great ways to keep readers in your ecosystem to upsell to them later on.
3. Product validation
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 digital products. It includes sending a product description or sales pitch to a small group of subscribers and asking if they want to buy your product.
Some types of products you could sell are:
- Online courses
- Licenses to use digital assets
- Membership sites
- Templates and tools
- Music or art
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.
4. Affiliate marketing
Another great blog monetization method is affiliate marketing. There are two things you want for this monetization strategy: heavy organic 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 an affiliate commission for each sale you make. To be successful at affiliate marketing, you have to choose products that are related to your niche.
One more 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 the audience before you look into referral programs and affiliate strategies.
5. 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 freelance blogger was able to expand his mailing list by 600% with one single summit. You may also use these events as a platform for selling products affiliated with your blog.
6. Sponsored blog posts
A sponsored post is an article commissioned by a third party to promote their service on your blog. Imagine you are running a successful blog for stock traders. 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.
There is no standard fee for a 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.
Take your blog monetization to the next level
With so many ways to monetize a blog going into 2021, 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 effort in growing and attracting a loyal audience. As long as you focus on smart marketing and great content creation, you will be on the right path to running a successful online blogging business.