This is an abstract from my book How to Start a Blog
A blog can be a great launch point for various projects that can make you money.
There’s absolutely no need for your blog to make money if you don’t want it to. But it’s good to know what your options are. In this last chapter, I’m going to explain at a high level the main options for “monetizing” a blog.
Get more clients for your business
The first and easiest way, I’d say, is to offer your services.
This especially works with non-location specific services. For example, if you are a plumber it might be harder. Not impossible, especially in large cities, but other channels could work better.
But if your business or activity is not linked to a specific location, a blog can be a great promotion for your business.
You can write articles that position you as an expert in the field you work in, and people will get in touch using the tools you give them: email, chat, or whatever you want.
I’ve seen this applied countless times, and it can lead to big opportunities in consulting. I have also experimented this first-hand when I started my career.
Advertising, affiliates, and sponsors
When your blog starts to gain a consistent number of visitors, that’s when it can make you some money in what’s usually called “passive income”.
There are 3 ways, mostly: advertising, affiliates, and sponsors. This is the difference: advertising is banner or text ads that appear on your page. You typically add a code to the site and then forget about it.
There is a broker, like Google Ads or Mediavine or BuySellAds that will take care of everything for you. They’ll find companies that want to show their ads, and their ads will be displayed on your blog. You get paid by ad views and/or ad clicks. It’s the simplest method you can find, although it usually requires a high number of page views to work.
Affiliates work in a different way: you get paid when people purchase a product coming from a link put on your website.
A common affiliate system is Amazon affiliate links. I’m sure you’ve seen them everywhere, under YouTube videos, under Instagram posts, and so on.
When Amazon makes a sale, you get a percentage of that. Same works for other smaller affiliate programs.
For affiliate links, you need to generate a specific link and depending on the frequency you have to do that, and the number of products or programs you promote, it will require more work on your part.
Sponsors work in a different way, and you typically need to get in touch with companies via email or phone. They will usually pay a flat fee for a month (or more) of sponsoring. You typically need to put a banner on the site or talk about their products in your posts.
Selling your own products
The system I like the most is using the blog to promote your own products.
It’s similar to promoting your services, but with products, it requires less work on your part and it can scale very easily.
Sure, you need a product beforehand. And you need a product that you know will be relevant and useful to people who read your posts.
But once you have it, you can promote it to your readers, without paying for ads, and without having to run an affiliate program yourself. Then, all your work – your blog and your products – are all aligned in the same direction: making useful things for the people you want to interact with.