If you have a burning desire to learn how to make money blogging in 2021, then I bet it’s time to learn what works and what doesn’t.
Sometimes it can be disappointing to hear “Expert Bloggers” say it will take you about 2 years to start making a full-time income from blogging if you’re a beginner.
Why does it have to take you 24 months to make money blogging when you can do so in less than a year?
Besides, you might not be lucky enough to have enough money or a reliable source of income to sustain for more than a year while you grow your blog.
That being said, these are some of the ways you can make money with your blog in 2021, and how each one works.
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Ways to Make Money Blogging
1. Monetize with Google AdSense
The most basic but less lucrative way to make money with your blog is to use Google AdSense.
However, your blog has to be approved to show Google Ads and so you need to apply for an AdSense account.
After approval, you’ll display ads on your site and get paid when your blog’s visitors click on them.
AdSense is a Cost Per Click (CPC) network where you only get paid when people click on the ads.
An alternative would be a Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) ad network where you earn a certain amount of revenue per a thousand impressions (how many visitors saw the ad).
In case you would like to increase your Google AdSense earnings, then I recommend you work with Google Certified Publishing partners such as AdThrive, Mediavine or Ezoic.
They do ads placement and optimization for maximum revenue. Check out all Google Certified Publishing partners.
My Opinion: AdSense isn’t a great way to make money online unless you have massive traffic, especially from Tier 1 countries such as the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, and Germany. Additionally, more people are now using AdBlockers, which means you will be losing between 25-30% revenue as a result.
According to research published in the Juniper Research journal, publishers are likely to lose $27bn in 2020 due to adblockers. Currently, there are more than 763 million devices worldwide using adblockers, including desktop and mobile browsers.
2. Promote Affiliate Products
Affiliate Marketing is probably one of the most lucrative ways to make money blogging.
It involves recommending a product or service to your readers/audience using a unique link (an affiliate link) and you get a referral commission for qualifying purchases or subscriptions through your link.
There are thousands of affiliate programs you can sign up for in almost every industry or niche.
For example, you can sign up for Amazon Affiliates and write reviews of certain products they sell.
When a customer makes a purchase from Amazon through your link you get a referral commission.
Alternatively, you can join affiliate networks where you have access to thousands of affiliate products or services to promote.
Some notable affiliate networks include:
- CJ Affiliates
- Affiliate Window
If you decide to start an affiliate niche site, I recommend you use a WordPress plugin such as PrettyLinks to help you easily manage your affiliate links.
It can be hard to manage more than 50 different affiliate programs, but your tasks will be made easier with the help of PrettyLinks.
It allows you to insert links into posts, create branded links, auto-replace links with just one single edit, as well as monitor how each affiliate link is performing.
My Opinion: Affiliate Marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. It’s passive, more rewarding, and easy to scale up without the need to write hundreds of blog posts.
3. Sell Ad Space
Rather than using CPC and CPM ad networks, which typically act as “middlemen” and end up paying you less, you can decide to sell Ad Spaces on your blog.
This only happens when you’re generating good traffic month after month, and advertisers are willing to pay for ads such as banners, buttons, or links.
You get paid directly by the advertisers, which means you can make more money. You also get to decide how much to charge for different ad slots such as:
- Header banner
- Sidebar banner
- In-content banner
- Link ads (within a post)
Banner ads are often charged on a monthly basis, while a link ad is a one-time payment ad type.
My Opinion: This is a good option only when you have enough traffic. Advertisers will often reach out to you, but you can also reach out to potential advertisers and let them know your blog’s monthly page views, users, sessions, and other important analytics.
4. Sell Sponsored Blog Posts
In case you are not interested in using display ad networks, selling sponsored blog posts can be an ideal option.
As earlier noted, you’re likely to earn less when using ad networks for two main reasons:
- Ad-block users are increasing hence reduced revenue
- Ad networks act as “middlemen” and pay you only a portion of the money actual advertisers pay them
The best way to bypass and increase your revenue significantly is by focusing on sponsored posts.
This involves an advertiser paying you to write a feature blog post about their product or service and market to your readers.
To get the best out of sponsored posts, have an outreach kit that details your blog’s monthly traffic, social media following, audience demographics, traffic sources, and other important data advertisers might be interested in.
You can then approach potential advertisers and pitch your sponsorship deal. Advertisers can also contact you once they notice your rankings and organic traffic are ideal.
They often use Alexa rankings to make their estimations before getting in contact. So make sure your Alexa data is certified.
One thing worth noting is that some countries require publishers who do sponsored posts to disclose that the content is sponsored.
In the United States, you have to comply with FTC’s Endorsement Guides, which includes disclosing whenever a post is sponsored.
My Opinion: You can make thousands of dollars with a blog that publishes sponsored blog posts. I recommend you mix things up with other ways of making money such as selling ad space and affiliate marketing.
5. Create a Paid Membership Website
If you’ve already done affiliate marketing, used display ads and sponsored posts, and want to take your game a notch higher, then creating a paid membership blog might be your ideal cup of coffee.
This is ideal when you already have loyal readers who are willing to pay to access exclusive content.
Create a Premium-Only area where paying readers get access to your best blog posts, podcasts, tutorials, and audio and video downloads.
Membership sites often turn out to be big-time investments and require one to continually create premium content month after month.
The good thing with paid membership sites is that it allows you to earn recurring commissions for as long as you’re creating new, quality premium content.
My Opinion: Paid membership sites happen to be among the most lucrative ways to make money blogging. You need to offer value for money or else you’ll lose loyal readers forever.
6. Create a Private Forum
An alternative to creating a paid membership website would be creating a private forum on your WordPress blog using a plugin such as bbPress.
You can also start a Private Facebook Group where only paying members get added. Be sure to offer value for the money though.
You need to respond to every member’s question, comment, and inquiry. That way you build a good rapport.
If you already have a paid membership website, then you can create a private forum where you can easily communicate with them.
My Opinion: Private forums can work magic for your blog and digital courses. The more value you give in such private forums, the easier it will be to market your digital products.
7. Sell Digital Products
Another way to monetize your blog is by selling digital products such as eBooks, Digital Courses, and Images.
After working online for some time, you will learn a lot and you can sell your skills in the form of digital products. Some digital courses cost more than $500, and they are worth it.
Most experienced bloggers have value to offer beginners, and often create their own digital products that end up making them more money than any other form of blog monetization.
If you choose to sell your digital products, these tools and platforms can come in handy;
- Learning Management System – Helps you to deliver your course
- Easy Digital Downloads – For digital downloads
- LearnDash and MemberPress
I would recommend that you create a digital product based on the needs of your audience rather than what you think your audience needs.
You can get awesome ideas in your blog’s comment section and through emails you receive. Creating a product based on common questions, requests, and problems is more likely to convert well.
My Opinion: Only create a digital product that your audience needs. If they often struggle with generating traffic then a course on how to generate massive traffic will do well. While those struggling with building email lists are more likely to purchase your email list building course.
8. Offer Freelance Services
If you have been working on freelance platforms such as Freelancer and Upwork, then launching your blog can make you more money.
Some of the freelance services you can offer include:
- Graphic design
- Web design
- Video editing
- Content marketing
- Software development, etc.
Although getting your first clients will be a challenge, you will be able to be your own boss and stop depending on freelancing sites and platforms that take a share for every project you work on.
With the right strategy, you will receive lots of offers to a point where you’ll have to hire professionals to complete some of the projects.
My Opinion: Freelancing as your own boss will eventually earn you more money than working on freelancing platforms. However, it takes time to build a loyal customer base, but your effort will pay off eventually.
9. Launch an Online Store
A good alternative to selling digital products would be to own your own online store where you sell Print-On-Demand items such as t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, pillows, towels, etc.
The items are printed only when a customer makes an order. You don’t have to own a product, run a physical store, do the packaging, or even the delivery.
All is done for you.
You need to start with a Shopify store then connect with Prinful (they do the printing and product delivery). You can get a 14-day free Shopify trial.
This means your task will be to market your store and generate traffic. You also don’t need to worry about fulfilling the orders as you can use a tool that does that with less input from you.
Check out this blog post on the best selling print-on-demand items if you wish to launch your own online store.
My Opinion: This works best when selling to customers in countries such as the United States, Canada, and the UK.
10. Offer Coaching Services
If you have expertise in a certain field, offering coaching services would be a great way to make money with your blog.
You can offer one-on-one training to individuals and you can charge per hour or per session.
Some bloggers manage to make more than $100,000 a month offering financial coaching to their clients, which can include advice on savings, investments, income expenditure, etc.
Keep in mind that you need to be really good for your coaching program to succeed because if someone doesn’t find value in one session then they won’t enroll for the next session.
My Opinion: Only offer coaching services if you have the right expertise and experience to do so.
11. Host Paid Webinars
There are thousands of bloggers out there offering free webinars every week with the aim being to generate leads and make sales through their other premium webinars.
You can also offer paid webinars, but be sure to offer something worth the price otherwise you’ll tarnish your reputation and scare away potential clients.
My Opinion: Start with free webinars for a few weeks or even a few months. This allows you to reach as many potential clients as possible, build a relationship with them, and talk about your upcoming premium webinar or product launch.
12. Sell Templates
Another rarely talked about way to make money blogging is selling custom-made templates. This idea is ideal for graphic designers.
You can create templates for different platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. There are bloggers who aren’t great at graphic design and rely heavily on ready-made templates.
Create awesome templates and set competitive prices and you will be making passive income every day.
My Opinion: This might not make you as much money as selling digital products or managing a paid membership site. However, you get to earn a decent income with your skills.
13. Sell Premium Themes and Plugins
If you know how to create themes and plugins, then I would recommend you turn your skill into a cash mill.
Create responsive, highly customizable themes and useful plugins then create your own website where you can sell them.
You can also use platforms such as Themeforest to sell your themes, which increases your sales and income.
There are more ways one can make money blogging, but I hope the ones highlighted above can help you decide how you want to make money online.
Feel free to add your own ideas and suggestions in the comments section below.
You can also ask any question and I will get in touch ASAP.