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10 Ways to Make More Money from Blogging

So you have a blog, you make some money and you want to make more. Or maybe you are new to the whole idea of monetisation. This article is for you!

There are many articles out there about how to make money from blogging, but have you noticed how general they are? It drove me crazy when I was trying to work out how to make a profitable business from my travel blog. I wasted so much time adding advertisements that didn’t make money, adding affiliate links that produced no sales and trying lots of other things because I read that’s how you make money from your blog.

I am sick of articles about making money from blogs which are too general.

In this article, I am going to be more specific by talking about how I, and others around me, made more money from our blogs. You will notice that many of these tips focus on testing. It is so important! Making money from blogging is rarely as simple as adding an advertisement or a link. I hope it helps!

How To Make Money Blogging

You will learn how to make more money by...

  1. Experimenting with advertising
  2. Writing more reviews
  3. Experimenting with how you present affiliate offers to your audience
  4. Trying different affiliates
  5. Marketing to your email list
  6. Writing sponsored posts
  7. Working with brands on Instagram
  8. Building products
  9. Creating upgrade offers for your clients
  10. Trying Facebook or Google advertising
  11. Learning from a trusted source

You can also read how much I make from blogging with a detailed income report here.

1. Experimenting with advertising

One of the easiest and quickest ways to either start making money on your blog or to increase your earnings is to experiment with advertising – and this one applies to you even if you already have ads on your sites.

I have seen a huge variation in how much I make from ads on my site by trying different ad block sizes and varying the position in my articles. Different types of advertisements can also make a difference – I saw a big increase when I started using a link list, for example, which is available in Google AdSense.

It can also be worthwhile shopping around with different advertising networks. If you are just starting with advertising though, I find Google AdSense a great place to start. They have good reporting and it is super easy to get started, to try out different ad positions, sizes and types.

I have two different websites that earn good money from Google AdSense. One is my travel blog and one is a niche site about working from home. I have very different experiences in what works on each.

For example, on my travel blog, it’s only just worthwhile having an advertisement in my sidebar. On my niche site, the sidebar ads make the most money. I find a variety of sizes on the page works best. It is definitely worth trying out in text advertisements and trialing what position you put the advertisements in the text.

Of course, it is a balancing act between something that is obtrusive enough that your readers will click on it but not annoy them.

Tips for getting started?

A plugin I find handy to add advertisements is “WP Insert”. The themes from Thrive Themes are also very good for adding advertisements and make it super easy to try out different positions. I use their themes on my work from home site as well as this blog.

It can be tempting to try everything out at once, but you are better off trying out one set up for at least a few weeks and then changing one or two things only, testing again, etc etc. Things you definitely should test are:

  • Advertisement sizes
  • Advertisement position
  • Advertisement type

2. Writing more reviews

If you want to make more money from affiliates, one way to do this is to write more reviews. You no doubt use something that would be relevant to your audience and a good review can bring in some good money.

If you don’t already own something you want to review, you can also reach out to the company and ask for the product in exchange for a review. If your website is popular, you may also be able to get paid for your time to write a review – this is a great win. Paid for your time and paid ongoing with affiliate commissions!

As with everything, though, you need to be strategic. You can’t just write about anything and expect the review to take off. You need to think about how you will market your review.

How will you get readers to your review that might buy your product? And now just today, but ongoing.

My favourite way is using SEO – ensuring people who want more information before buying that product are ending up on my site. You can read about finding good keywords here.

There are also other ways – via social media, advertising via other channels and using your email list (more about some of these things later in this article!).

You can also advertise your reviews across your own blog. For important articles, you can link to them from your home page, sidebar or menu structure and make sure you add internal links from all your relevant articles.

The first step, though, is to actually have reviews. And don’t just think reviews have to be about a solid product like a toaster. They can also be about services, online and offline, web tools or hotels.

I write reviews about many different products across my sites and what works best is that the reviews are relevant to that audience and in depth. Don’t just write a cursory 300 words, add a photo and expect it to work. You need your readers to trust you.

I also haven’t tried it myself, but I believe a lot of people make good money from making videos of their reviews and putting these on YouTube and their blogs. This way you are also marketing your article on YouTube and you give your reader (or viewer!) a better look at the product. Showing your face is also a great way to build trust.

Tips for getting started?

Brainstorm a list of items that would be useful to your readers. Start with a list of items you already own and use and then branch into items that would be handy to your audience that you don’t currently own. Also consider asking your readers what they would like to learn more about or what they are currently considering buying. I also recommend reading this guide by Yeison Kim.

3. Experimenting with how you present affiliate offers to your audience

I used to be someone who thought affiliate marketing didn’t work in a blog unless you had a zillion readers. Perhaps you feel this way too.

I was so wrong.

I make a crap load of money from affiliate marketing now. What changed?

I realised that affiliate marketing had two words – affiliate AND marketing.

I was just concentrating on the affiliate part and adding a ton of affiliate links to my content without paying attention to the marketing part of the equation. Like everything in blogging, affiliate marketing is not as simple as this.

Thankfully, it is not difficult either and my fortune changed overnight when I started experimenting with my affiliate links. One of the biggest things that can make a difference, and what changed my situation from making $0 in affiliate marketing on my travel blog overnight, was experimenting with how I presented affiliate links, ie how I put them on the page.

I was just adding them to a hotel name or a product name. This did not work. In text links are great but they should be a call to action. Tell your reader to click on them.

I saw a huge difference when I went from:

Apartments at Woolmers – A good choice for budget conscious families who want the space and a fully self contained apartment in a central location.

to

For budget conscious families who want the space and a fully self contained apartment in a central location, we recommend Apartments at Woolmers. Check out the latest prices and more details.

There’s also no reason to stick with text affiliate links. Try images, comparison charts, buttons, anything else you can come up with.

Tips for getting started?

Take a look at Google Analytics, under Behavior, and look at your top 10 posts in terms of traffic. Analyse these posts for affiliate opportunities, if they don’t already have affiliate links, and add some. If they do, experiment with how you present your affiliate links. Consider different wording, using an image or something else.

Check back in a few weeks and see if this has increased your earnings then consider experimenting with a different way to present your links.

If you don’t already have Google Analytics installed, naughty! Get it ASAP here!

4. Trying different affiliates

You should not just experiment with how you present your affiliate links to your reader but also which affiliates you use. Different audiences respond better to different companies. You can make educated guesses based on where your audience is located and other demographic information, but the only way to know for sure which company will convert best is to try them.

For travel bloggers, there’s particularly a lot of choice when it comes to hotel booking sites. I often read people asking in Facebook groups what others use. This can be a great starting point, but the best company will differ for everyone, even if it seems like your audiences should be very similar.

With products, there are also many choices, particularly if you have a US audience. It’s worth going to the extra effort of trying out some different options

Tips for getting started?

If you are already earning money from affiliates, look at competitors for the companies you are earning money through. Is there another good option you can try? Do they have an affiliate program?

I find a good way to see if a company has an affiliate program is simply to Google “<Company name> affiliate program” and see what comes up.

If you have links on many posts, the idea of changing will no doubt make you nervous. I always experiment with just a couple of posts with anything affiliate related then I roll out what works to my other posts. I suggest you experiment with your most popular posts as it will be easier to see if your changes make a difference.

If you don’t already make money from affiliates, go back to looking at your top 10 posts in Google Analytics. For any article that you could add affiliates to, work out two different companies you can try out and then give them both a go for a set period each.

5. Marketing to your email list

You’ve no doubt heard people say that you need an email list and that the “money’s in the list”. This is because an email list can be very powerful. Unfortunately many bloggers do not use their email list effectively.

An email list is powerful as no one can take it away from you. Facebook could shut down tomorrow, Google search could completely change and many other ways that bloggers attract traffic could change as well. However, your email list is yours. You own it.

People willingly gave you their email address so don’t be afraid to use it.

There is no rule that you only have to send your latest blog posts to your readers. In fact, this is a very poor use of your email list. Consider what people may want to get out of being on your email list and try to deliver that in a way that is a big win/win for both you and your subscribers.

For my travel blog, I take my subscribers on a journey from deciding to travel with kids and working out where to go through to planning their trips and working out what to pack, tips for flights and what to do when they get there. This adds far more value than sending out my latest blog posts. It also gives me a great chance to market to my subscribers with many chances in there where I can be helpful in supplying an affiliate link to a product in my emails.

An email auto responder series (these are emails that send out automatically a certain period of time after someone subscribes) are an easy and effective way to market affiliate offers and your own products and services.

This is easy to set up with an email marketing service and an auto responder series. Read more about getting set up here.

Tips for getting started?

If you don’t have an email list 😮 Get started now! There are some tips here for choosing an email marketing service (where you will store your subscribers’ emails and send emails from) and some tips here for increasing your number of subscribers.

If you have one and want to make more money, it’s time to be serious about how you can offer great value for your subscribers while including some affiliate links or links to your own products and services.

Brainstorm what journey you can take your subscribers on. Think about why people subscribe to your list in the first place. What is your blog about? How can you fit your offers into this?

Work out an overarching theme for your email series then plot out individual emails and set them up. There is no time like the present!

6. Writing sponsored posts

Sponsored posts can be one of the easiest ways to make money from your blog. Some sponsored post opportunities have very little requirements and you can merge them into articles you were already writing. Sometimes you don’t even need to write anything and you are given an already written post that just needs to be hosted.

There is a big downside though. Many sponsored posts are really just companies looking for links to their websites. This means that if you take up the opportunity, you run the risk of a penalty from Google which can be death to a blog.

If you are happy to live with this risk then it can be a quick and easy way to make money on an existing blog.

ALERT: Click here to read my FREE step by step guide to how to Make Money from Sponsored Posts

Tips for getting started?

The hardest part of making money from sponsored posts is finding companies to work with in the first place. I found once my blog reached a certain level of popularity, I started receiving many requests for sponsored posts. Before that point, it was much harder.

Some ways to find contacts for companies looking to work with bloggers:

7. Working with brands on Instagram

A huge growth area is making money from brands on Instagram. More and more brands are choosing to work with bloggers on this platform.

There are many ways you can earn money through your Instagram account. The main one is to promote a brand via photos. This could be a photo of the product itself that is supplied, one of you using the product or various photos which involve the product in some way.

You can, of course, use Instagram in exactly the same way to promote your own affiliate and product offers. Your own product offers could be the photos themselves if you sell your photography. Instagram can be a great place to showcase your work.

You will need a strong Instagram account to work with brands with decent follower numbers and great engagement.

Tips for getting started?

If you would like to work with brands in Instagram, here are some places to get started:

8. Building products

A potentially very lucrative way of making more money with your blog is creating products. If you create products that don’t require your ongoing input (for example, an eBook rather than a 1:1 coaching package) then the sky can be the limit in terms of income generation. It is also a passive way to make income once you have created the product and have it all set up to sell.

There are so many types of products you can create for a blogging audience. These can range from the common eBook to a craft set to a piece of software to a service, like logo design.

There are so many ways to get started with creating and selling products on your blog.

Tips for getting started?

The first step is to work out what you are going to create. It’s time to brainstorm!

Open up Google Analytics and look at your most popular content under the Behavior tab. What types of topics do your readers like to read about? If you have one or two super popular pieces then think hard about what product you could offer these readers. Otherwise, look for a trend between your most popular articles.

What types of articles do people like reading on your site?

This is a great way to start the brainstorming. You don’t have to build products around your most popular content, but it will be easier to sell them if you already have an audience.

For example, if I was going to build a product for my audience on my travel blog, Where’s Sharon, I would look at products based on travelling to and in Malaysia as this section of my site is most popular. I’d consider items like an eBook or a travel package.

9. Creating upgrade offers for your clients

It’s much easier to make money from clients you already have than to find new clients. This means that each time you are doing work for a client, you should ask yourself what you can do to add more value. You can then offer these ideas as upgrades for your client.

This is a win/win.

They are happy that you are showing initiative and making their life better. You are happy that you are making more money.

There are many things you can offer. Here are some to get you thinking:

  • Extra content – Perhaps you could write more content for your site, the client’s site, some other site, etc.
  • Photography  You could sell the client any photos you took of the products/company.
  • Competitions – You could run a competition with the client’s product.
  • Brand Ambassadorship – This is a longer term agreement to work with the client.

Of course, there are many other things you could do too and the best upgrade offers will be the ones that ideally suit your client’s position at that point in time.

Tips for getting started?

Look at the last piece of work you did for a client. Think about the different ways you could help them reach their goals further. If you are not sure of their goals then ask them.

Try to come up with at least three ideas and send your contact a pitch or ring them on the phone. Always remember with pitching to be very clear with what is in it for the client. Detail how your suggestions will help them.

10. Trying Facebook or Google advertising

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money and in my final way of how to make money from blogging, I’m suggesting that you consider spending money on Facebook or Google advertising.

This will only work if you already have a good converting offer – whether this is for your own product or service, an affiliate link or something else. Your aim is to get traffic to your page and to make more money than what the advertising is costing you.

Tips for getting started?

Is there a page on your website that makes a good amount of money for the number of people that read it?

How do you work this out?

Make a spreadsheet listing your posts that make money. In the next column, enter how much money each of these posts made in the last month. Now in the next column, write how much page views they had in the last month (you can get this information from Google Analytics). Finally, put the following formula into the fourth column:

=B1/(C1/1000)

This is calculating the RPM which is how much revenue you make on an individual page per 1000 impressions. It’s a good way to compare how much money different pages on your site are making as it gives you a good idea of what is converting well, not just what is getting a lot of traffic.

When looking for articles which might benefit from Google or Facebook advertising, you need to look at this RPM. The ones with the highest RPM are the best candidates to start with. Then it’s about experimenting with Google or Facebook advertising to see if you can make more money from the post than the cost of the advertising.

11. Learning from a trusted source

I have one more bonus way to make more money from blogging. That’s by learning from a trusted source.

I could have saved so much time, effort and heartache if I had had a trusted source to learn everything about blog monetisation from.

Lucky for you, you have me!

I have published a book How To Make Money From Blogging: The Ultimate Guide To Earning A Five Figure Income. In this book, there are step to step instructions of all the different methods I use and have used to make money from blogging. It describes exactly how to make money from blogging.

It comes with a bonus chapter on generating passive income and a workbook to help get you started.

You can buy the book here or read more about it here.

Conclusion

There are a crazy number of ways to make more money from blogging. The above ten are some great ones that are possible for anyone with an established blog and I’m sure you wouldn’t have tried them all before.

If you are new to blogging then things are harder. I don’t believe you should wait until you have a decent sized audience before starting to monetise your blog, however. Quite the opposite in fact!

If you already know where you want to head, eg earning money from products, then it means you will waste less time as you can already work on attracting readers who will love your products rather than concentrating on attracting any reader who may not suit the direction of your blog in the long run.

If you want more information and more techniques for how to make money from blogging, you are in luck! Click here to find out about my new book, How To Make Money From Blogging.

Questions? What are your best tips for making money from blogging?

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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