In this article, I’m going to be talking about whether you can get paid for blogging and talk about the different ways bloggers make an income online.
I’ve been doing the “blogging” thing since 2009, and I didn’t really start monetizing until 2015. I didn’t start monetizing until I had a coworker tell me that they were blogging and making an income off of it.
As an entrepreneur at heart, this lit up my soul. At the time, I was married, but had no kids. I had a corporate career as well as a side hustle that was doing fairly well as a wedding photographer. I wanted to try my hand at blogging.
It wasn’t until I learned about this whole new world of internet marketing that I truly understood what it meant to make money online.
To answer the question, yes you can get paid for blogging.
Here are the top 5 ways that you can make money blogging.
How to Get Paid for Blogging
In short, these are the main four ways that you can make money blogging online. I’ll be going through the pros and cons of each of these channels so you can understand what it takes if you are a beginner blogger to start making a profit.
- Sponsored Posts
- Advertising Income
- Affiliate Income
- Your Own Product Sales (physical and digital)
For me, I’ve made money in the top three bullets above from my lifestyle blog. Until 2020, my most lucrative income stream was through sponsored posts.
Each channel of income comes with growth strategies as well as common challenges.
I’m going to go through a quick run down of each one.
Get Paid Writing Sponsored Content as a Blogger
Sponsored posts require a blogger to chase down brands and marketing reps to create a “sponsored conversation” for a brand.
The blogger can also work with blogging networks who already have those relationships with the brand. The downside to this is that as a middleman, the blogging networks get a cut of the income.
In the very beginning of my blogging career, I took a $125 sponsored post about something I didn’t really want to write about. As I evolved over time, the numbers kept climbing. My largest sponsored post to date is $2,500. I share this with you so that you know the potential and realm of possibility as someone who works full-time, with four kids, with a blog still going strong ten years later.
Sponsored Content Pros:
- Larger amount of income for the work that you are doing
- You’ll be able to put on your blogging resume that you worked with that particular brand (bonus points if it is a well recognized brand in your niche), which will allow you to add it to your media kit
Sponsored Content Cons:
- You may feel like you are selling out
- Your content may not feel as honest to the reader, which may impact affiliate sales because of the perception
get Paid with Advertising Revenue as a Blogger
Advertising income is amazing because it is the most passive forms of income compared to the rest. The caveat here is that you need traffic in order to produce this income.
Interestingly enough, advertising income took me the longest time to understand out of all of these.
Essentially, you can either manage having rental space on your blog for a brand or marketing agency. As a blogger, you would need to manage the “inventory” of space. There are also advertising companies that manage all of this, and they inject some code into your blog to allow their ads to run. The beauty of this method is that you no longer need to manage inventory and they take care of the ads for you!
The con on advertising income is that you need to have at least 25,000 sessions per month in order to qualify for some of the big agencies.
To date, my largest monthly check for advertising income is $1,200. I’ve seen upwards of $15,000 from other bloggers, so I know there is potential here.
If you are in it for the advertising revenue, the name of the game for this is keyword research and content creation.
Advertising Revenue Pros:
- It is a passive income stream if you have a system to always produce content that drives traffic
- There’s not a lot of maintenance required for this if you work with a good advertising company (I personally love Mediavine, and there are others who swear by AdThrive).
Advertising Revenue Cons:
- There’s ads on your site, and they can be obnoxious to readers.
Getting Paid with Affiliate Revenue as a Blogger
Affiliate income was an easier way to start seeing money roll it. I almost equate this to MLMs. You are basically pushing other people’s products and getting a kickback on the backend. The way this works online is that you provide someone a ton of content and provide a solution to a problem (by way of content, what you tell them about it). From a technical perspective, you are adding a special link that will allow the affiliate network to add a cookie to a user’s browser. If someone clicks on that link, based on the terms of the cookie, you can receive a commission anywhere from 24 hours or even 365 days after purchase.
If you do this well, then this could be a huge money maker.
Affiliate Income Pros:
- You can pick the items you wish to talk about and sell.
- If you do really well, the income from this area can be quite lucrative.
Affiliate Income Cons:
- It can take a while until you hit your groove with figuring out which affiliate networks have the brands that you want to work with.
Your Own Product/Service Sales
As you start your blogging journey, you’ll find that the very successful bloggers also have some type of product that they sell, whether it is physical products that they white label, online courses, or digital products.
Product sales can be a very lucrative endeavor because the margins for profit are much higher. You’ll also be pushing your own product, which means you have much more in depth content to write about. Moreover, you can then create your own affiliate program to take it to the next level. Imagine having other people pushing your product for you!
Services can also be very lucrative. In this space, you could be providing a service like writing content for other people, consulting work around your niche, etc. This is pretty much like how a traditional business is run, but then injecting modern innovations in online marketing and digital strategy with sales funnels.
I haven’t gotten to this part for my own blogs I manage yet. I have worked with some small business owners to create digital products. It is a very time intensive hustle that requires you to have intense focus on creating sales funnels and email automation.
Selling Product/Service Pros:
- You have larger margins.
- You’ll feel really proud of having a product that you’ve created (if you are an entrepreneur at heart like I am, this will be a big bonus).
- You can have other people doing the marketing for you.
Selling Product/Service Cons:
- Customer service support process will need to be established.
- More time spent on email sales funnel processes
Summary of Best Ways to Make Money Blogging
I know there are more ways to make money online, but these are pretty much the high level categories that they fall in. At the end of the day, the way that you get paid from blogging really stems around providing value and service to your readers. The turning point in most blogger’s careers is they realize that the focus about the blog should revolve around the reader in the chosen niche.
Can you really make money blogging?
Too often, I see bloggers wanting to write about themselves and their experience to make money from blogging, but they losing focus on providing that content in a way the reader perceives it to be helpful to them (and comes off as arrogant and all about the influencer).
In short, if you start a blog focused on providing value to a specific audience, they’ll gain your trust so that you can leverage sponsored content, advertising income, and affiliate sales so that you can make money blogging.