8 Realistic Ways to Make Money from a Blog as a Beginner

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

The Internet is full of ways you can make money from a blog. But how many of them are realistic for those who are just starting out? In reality, it mostly depends on the purpose of your blog and the effort you want to put in.

Still, you’ll come across all kinds of methods that either don’t make sense or seem a bit…off. At times, it seems the blogger just wanted to fill an article with random thoughts regarding making money.

A few may even be downright sketchy.

Today, I’ll go over the most feasible methods of creating passive income from a blog that isn’t ridiculous or unrealistic. The best part is that you can start using these methods right now.
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How to Really Make Money Blogging

In this post, I’m going to cover actual ways your blog can start making money. These are all elements that center around the blog itself, so I’m not including things like a podcast, which relies more on a secondary server.

I’m also not including eCommerce because that would change the overall nature of the blog. Instead of a website where you create content, it becomes more of an online store. And that’s a completely different animal.

No, these are eight methods you can add right now to make money from a blog.

1. Affiliate Marketing Platforms

Affiliate Marketing

Adding affiliates to your blog is when you show banners, ads or links to visitors in the hopes they will click and purchase something from those businesses. If your audience buys something, you earn a commission.

It’s one of the easiest methods to generate revenue, as long as you have affiliations with companies that are closely related to the context of your blog.

For instance, you wouldn’t want to show ads for a business selling health food supplements if your blog is about video games. Since the audience is already interested in gaming, you would want to show something more related such as games or maybe even controllers.

Back in the day, I made a few bucks from a blog that focused on comparing tablets…and it only had perhaps 20 to 50 visitors per day.

Systems like CJ.com or ShareASale.com connect you to a wide number of businesses. You just need to find ones that match the context of your blog.

2. Sponsored and Paid Posts

Sponsored Post

Once your blog gets to a certain level of popularity, you may find companies coming to you for paid or sponsored posts. This is when the business will pay you for featuring their products or services on the website.

This can happen in two ways. Either the company: a) pays you for writing your own review or post about the business, or b) they write up their own and pay you to promote it on your blog.

The best part about this method is that you can literally set your own income. However, you want to be realistic with what you charge. Too high of a price, and the business will simply move on.

Now for the downside; this isn’t something that will happen overnight. Most businesses that are looking to pay bloggers are looking for certain audience types and what it views as a great website.

To capitalize on paid posts or sponsored content, you’ll need to demonstrate a strong online presence and have an easy-to-use contact form.

3. Using Adsense and Other Ad Servers

Ad Servers

Serving ads is perhaps one of the most common methods to make money from a blog. This is when you show ads from Google Adsense or other ad-serving platforms. If a visitor clicks, you get a sliver of the ad’s value.

For systems like Adsense, you just need to have more than 10 blog posts before you are accepted into the program. Then, you place the provided code snippet in areas where you think visitors will click.

However, don’t expect to get rich quick. In reality, you need a lot of traffic to make that “mad blog money.”

I’m talking hundreds of thousands of visits per month just to make $1,000. And that’s just from Adsense alone. You’ll more than likely use other methods to make passive income from blogs.

Still, things like Adsense can bring in a bit of money without you really doing much aside from making great content to attract and keep an audience.

4. Selling Ad Space

Ad Space

A lot of bloggers will personally sell ad space from their site. It works similar to affiliates and ad serving with the exception that you cut out the middle-man.

You can set your own pricing per impression or click, have creative input about what is displayed and have far greater control over the entire process. And it could bring in quite a bit if you can manage it well enough.

But like paid and sponsored posts, selling ad space requires you to have a popular and well-trafficked blog most of the time. While you can set up a “space for rent” section to entice potential clients, it may be a while before someone actually submits their proposal.

One of the reasons why this is such an attractive method, though, is because of the overall control. Unlike ad serving, you have absolute say in what is displayed on your blog to make money.

Truly, the hardest part is generating enough traffic for a business to warrant using your blog to promote their product or service.

5. Donation and Support Platforms

Donations

A common method to make money from a blog is to add donations or support platforms. This is when you rely more on the generosity of others for supplying them with high-quality content.

I’ve been experimenting with this a bit in both the blog as well as the YouTube channel. And I am surprised by how many people love my content enough to buy me a coffee.

The best part about this method is that it’s easy to add to virtually any website niche. All it takes is a button or link to the platform that acts like a tip jar.

For example, I have the BuyMeACoffee.com button on this website in the sidebar. I also have a link to the account in most of my recent videos on YouTube. At which point, anyone can tip me up to $9 or subscribe for a monthly fee.

To get the most out of this kind of system, though, you should consider adding something of value as a “thank you” gesture. For instance, I plan on offering digital goods in some form to those who support the blog and YouTube channel.

6. Selling Digital Products

Digital Product Ebook

So, I know I said I wouldn’t promote eCommerce as a realistic method to make money from a blog. However, you can promote digital goods without turning the website into an online store.

In fact, there are several WordPress plugins that work as a one-page selling system for things like eBooks.

This is a method I plan on adding to this blog in the relatively near future. I’ve had quite a few requests for an eBook, and am seriously considering adding a few for both free and paid in 2020.

The hardest part about this method is being able to demonstrate expertise to the point where someone is going to give you money for a digital product. This could be music, books or even games.

I know a lot of photographers and graphic designers who use their blogs to promote digital goods. It all depends on your audience and the niche of your website.

7. Promote Yourself as a Freelancer

Freelancer

If you are a freelancer, it’s imperative to market yourself well. And the blog is a good way to do this. Potential clients have a chance to explore your expertise and decide whether or not to hire you for services.

For example, I have a contact form on this and my personal blog. Clients can reach out and contact me regarding my rates and if I am interested in certain projects.

All it takes is demonstrating your abilities through the content you create, having a command of your niche and adding a contact form. Aside from writing the content, this could take less than 10-minutes to set up.

It also helps if you have something like a YouTube channel or are active on social media. The more you market yourself online, the greater are the chances of someone coming to you for jobs.

But like selling ad space, make sure your rates are not too high or too low. You don’t want to scare away potential customers or short-change yourself on a project.

8. *Providing Quality Content*

Publish Quality Content

The most vital element to make money from a blog is providing the best content possible. You want to appease the search engine gods as well as those who visit the website.

It doesn’t really matter what methods you choose for passive income from blogs if no one wants to read the content. This means you need to have an understanding of your target audience and provide the best information you can.

Sure, you can pay for pay-per-click campaigns to draw in an audience. But if those visitors don’t find value in your content, they’re less likely to click affiliate links, contact you for work or buy any digital products.

Arguably, one of the best kinds of content is evergreen material. This is because evergreen content remains viable and informative for years.

I mean, how often do you do a Google search and find blog posts from 10 years ago? That is evergreen content working for the website owner.

So I can’t stress enough how it’s your content that will make the biggest impact to make money from a blog.
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Why a Lot of Bloggers Fail to Make Money

Unfortunately, not every blog is going to generate enough to replace a full-time income. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. And as much as those blogging “gurus” might energize an audience, blogging isn’t always the bed of roses they make you think it is.

In fact, a lot of things will directly affect the success of a blogging website.

  • A Lack of Consistent, Quality Content
    Plainly put, if you don’t write it, they won’t come. You need quality content on a regular basis if you expect to build an audience who will help you generate the kind of money you’re looking for.
  • Unrealistic Expectations
    A lot of bloggers will quit because the site isn’t meeting unrealistic expectations. Bear in mind, it can take months, or even years, to generate enough money to replace a full-time income.
  • Not Enough Interest
    If the interest simply isn’t there for any given topic, no one is going to visit the blog. Then again, a popular niche is harder to break into simply because of the amount of competition. You need to find a middle ground.
  • Not Marketing the Blog Well Enough
    Some will fail while writing about ideal topics simply because of a lack of marketing. This goes beyond knowing search engine optimization. You need to get the blog out there in front of as many people as you can.
  • A Lack of Effort
    Perhaps one of the biggest downfalls for many is a severe lack of effort. It takes hard work and motivation to keep a blog growing. If you put in a half-assed effort, you can expect a half-assed result. And I should know.

Although it takes a lot of work to establish a blog, it does get easier over time. Think of the hours you spend today as an investment to make money from a blog tomorrow.

It’s All About Effort to Make Money from a Blog

The bottom line is that any of these methods have the potential to help you make money from a blog. But they won’t unless you put in the effort to maximize the experience of using a preferred method to generate a passive income.

It all boils down to you and the amount of effort you put into building the best blog you can. Don’t assume success is guaranteed…especially in today’s blog-saturated Internet.

Give people a reason to visit your website.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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