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How Do Bloggers Actually Make Money?

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I take a deep breath and think, should I explain the long or short versions? What time is it, and when do I next have to be somewhere?

While I 100% love what I do, explaining it can be a significant challenge! As a writer, blogger, psychology graduate and a newly mental health blogger, it’s tough to give a short answer (that doesn’t lead to confusion) to the question “What do you do?”

And, while people generally accept “author,” and even “business owner” relatively easily, if I try to explain any of my online revenue streams, things quickly get much more complicated.

I’m a business strategy consultant, but “as a business model” I’m a blogger. I make money online by writing my blog about blogging strategies and lifestyle content.

So, how exactly does a blogger make money? Well, I’m glad you asked. Grab yourself a coffee, sit down, and I’ll tell you all about it.


In the digital age, blogging has evolved from a personal diary to a viable career option for many. But how exactly do bloggers make money? 

1. Ad networks

Joining an ad network is one of the most common ways that bloggers make money. Basically, you just sign up with one — such as Google Adsense and then ads get displayed on your site. Those ads you see in the sidebars of most blogs? Yes, those are generally from ad networks.

  1. Display Ads: Using networks like Google AdSense, bloggers can earn money by displaying ads on their sites. Earnings are typically based on the number of impressions or clicks the ads receive.
  2. Sponsored Posts: Companies pay bloggers to write posts that promote their products or services. These posts are usually marked as sponsored content.
  3. Direct Ad Sales: Bloggers with significant traffic may sell ad space directly to companies, negotiating rates and placements without a middleman.

The reality is, now that the internet has matured more, and there is so much good quality content out there, people simply aren’t as hungry for “dramatic weight loss solutions” or “cheapest blog hosting.” If they want these things, they know that they can easily find them with a quick Google search, and don’t need to click a slightly suspicious-looking ad.

Long story short: Yes you can make money with your blog from ad networks, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The relatively small amount of money isn’t worth “uglifying” your blog over.

2. Affiliate Offers

So this is how affiliate marketing works, if you help a company make a sale, they might be willing to pay you a commission. Many companies, large and small, have affiliate programs that bloggers can join. After you sign up, you get a unique link for a specific product. If someone clicks that link and then makes a purchase, you get paid!

Affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services and earning a commission for every sale made through a blogger’s unique referral link. Popular affiliate programs include Amazon Associates, Zalora, Shoppee and Lazada Affiliate. Successful affiliate marketing relies on trust and relevance; bloggers need to recommend products that genuinely align with their niche and audience interests.

Don’t promote something just because you think your audience might like it, or, worse, because it pays a high commission. Doing this risks your reputation and influence.

But, if you just focus on sharing products or services that you use yourself and truly love, affiliate programs can be a great way to monetize your blog.

3. Selling Products and Services

Blogs are free information. But, since your readers are interested in your topic, they very well might be interested in paying for more/higher-quality information on that same topic.

For example, if you write a blog about healthy dessert recipes, your readers might be interested in a whole ebook of just healthy pie recipes.

Many bloggers create their products or offer services, such as:

   – E-books and Online Courses: Bloggers can monetize their expertise by creating and selling digital products.

   – Merchandise: From branded apparel to custom-designed goods, merchandise can be a profitable revenue stream.

   – Consulting and Coaching: Bloggers can offer one-on-one consulting or coaching sessions in their area of expertise.

4. Membership and Subscription Models

Building a loyal audience can lead to a steady income through memberships or subscriptions. Platforms like Patreon allow bloggers to offer exclusive content, community access, and other perks to subscribers who pay a monthly fee. This model provides a consistent income and fosters a closer relationship with the audience.

5. Sponsored Content and Partnerships

Beyond individual sponsored posts, bloggers can enter into long-term partnerships with brands. This might include becoming a brand ambassador or participating in influencer marketing campaigns. These relationships can provide a reliable income source and valuable networking opportunities. 

Sponsors are companies who are willing to pay to have their product reviewed so that they can get more exposure.

Most bloggers are quite selective about who they will do this for and only accept sponsorships from companies that they love. Furthermore, when reviewing the product, it is VITAL to be honest about positives and negatives, and not just try to persuade your readers to buy.

Your readers follow your blog not because they are interested in your topic, but also because they like and trust you. If you lose their trust, they will leave. Value the relationship with your audience members higher than anything else. Focus on connecting and on being helpful.

6. Donations and Crowdfunding

Some bloggers rely on the generosity of their readers through donations or crowdfunding platforms like Ko-fi or GoFundMe. This approach works well for bloggers who create valuable content but prefer not to use traditional advertising or sponsored content.

7. Freelance Writing and Guest Blogging

Established bloggers can leverage their writing skills and audience reach by writing for other websites and publications. Freelance writing and guest blogging not only provide additional income but also help to expand the blogger’s audience and authority in their niche.

Why do bloggers make money?

Sometimes, people think that bloggers shouldn’t get compensated because they aren’t doing “real work” or blogging is “just a hobby.”

As someone who has run multiple blogs, I can tell you that writing and running a blog is REAL work that takes 10 – 50 hours per week. And generally, the more time a blogger puts into their blog, the more money they make.

(There aren’t very many bloggers who are only putting in 10 hours/week and make much money.)

Further, running a blog also costs money: we have to pay for hosting, domains, web design, advertising, email services, and more.

Ultimately, it comes down to this — Are bloggers providing something of value? If so, then yes, they should be compensated. Fortunately for the readers, some advertisers are willing to pay the bloggers!

Tips To Becoming A Successful Blogger

1. Quality Content: Consistently producing high-quality, valuable content is key to attracting and retaining readers.

2. Niche Focus: Specializing in a niche can help build a dedicated audience and attract relevant advertising and sponsorship opportunities.

3. SEO Optimization: Understanding and implementing SEO strategies can increase a blog’s visibility and attract organic traffic.

4. Engagement: Building a strong connection with your audience through comments, social media, and email newsletters can increase loyalty and support.

Blogging exists ….

Making money from blogging is not an overnight success but requires dedication, strategic planning, and continuous learning. By diversifying income streams and focusing on creating valuable content, bloggers can turn their passion into a profitable venture. Whether you’re just starting or looking to boost your blog’s earnings, these strategies can help you achieve financial success in the blogging world.

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