Generating a regular income from your blog can seem like a pipedream. But it’s never been easier to start monetizing a blog. In fact, you probably don’t need as much traffic or as many email subscribers as you might think. If you have a blog and are willing to be strategic, you can likely generate some revenue.
Today we’ll show you when is a good time to start monetizing and our top 10 content monetization strategies.
When should you start to monetize a blog?
There’s no hard and fast rule for when to start monetizing a blog. But, having these two conditions will increase your chances of success.
- Get consistent traffic: You don’t need millions of visitors but look for steady and consistent traffic that shows people are interested in your content.
- Have a social media following/email subscriber list: Again, you don’t need tens of thousands of followers or email subscribers but a small to medium list of subscribers who engage with your content regularly will help.
The key to successfully monetizing your blog is to set a goal and then calculate your preferred way to reach it. For instance, if you’re aiming to make $5,000 each month from your blog, there are multiple ways you could do this:
- Sell a $250 course to 20 people
- Sell a $50 pack of email templates to 100 people
- Join an affiliate program and make $5,000 commission from sales through your affiliate links
10 successful blog monetization strategies
Here are 10 blog monetization strategies you can start using today to increase the revenue from your blog.
1. Sell ebooks to your audience
Selling ebooks is one of the easiest ways of monetizing a blog. If your visitors are already engaging in your content, they might be willing to pay a small amount to get an in-depth how-to guide. Depending on your niche, this could be a guide on how to build a successful dropshipping business, an exclusive piece of fan fiction, or your unique dog training strategies.
Freelance WordPress consultant Tom Hirst created a $39 ebook on pricing freelance projects on the back of a viral Twitter thread he wrote summarizing his expertise in pricing freelance projects.
Hirst demonstrates that the key is to write something that your target audience is already engaging with. For example, could consider building out your best-performing blog posts into an in-depth and actionable ebook or packaging your most popular newsletters into a downloadable guide.
2. Build online courses
Selling online courses is another way to monetize your blog. You don’t need to be a of subject-matter expert to create a course; you just need to know how to do something better than your audience.
Present your material in an easily digestible format, so that your audience gets as much value as possible from your course. Make your course actionable by providing a detailed step-by-step guide and giving examples.
For example, vegan chef Kathy Hester launched the blog Healthy Slow Cooking and wrote the cookbook “The Vegan Slow Cooker” before launching online cooking classes on Podia:
Each class recording is priced at $35. Alternatively, people can sign up for a $50 monthly subscription for unlimited access to pre-recorded course content.
3. Sell other digital products
Building an effective digital product that solves your audience’s pain points is a great way of building a passive income stream.
For example, if you have in-demand skills like coding you could sell website themes or WordPress plugins. If you’re a pro video editor, you could sell video presets to your audience. Email templates, spreadsheet templates, and image filters are other digital product ideas you could sell to your audience.
For example, blogger Jessica from Life Is Messy and Brilliant sells digital planners, stickers, and planner templates to help her audience get organized.
Based on her audience’s pain point of feeling disorganized she created a digital product to help solve the problem.
4. Create membership-only gated content
Once you’ve got some high-quality content that people love reading, you could charge a small fee to give fans exclusive access to a members-only section on your site. Here you could offer additional insights, unique perspectives, and more in-depth content.
However, don’t put all of your high-quality content behind a paywall. You should always have some free pieces to encourage people to become members. Show readers that your exclusive members-only content is worth the money and that the value of becoming a member outweighs the subscription cost.
Another advantage of creating membership-only content is that you also create a community of members at the same time. You could create a Slack community where like-minded members can interact with one another. Hold members-only chats and forums where members can interact with you and ask questions or discuss topics relevant to your expertise.
Fizzle is an example of a paid membership site for people who want to build successful online businesses.
Subscribers get access to premium course content, a forum where they can interact, and live group coaching sessions/webinars.
Fizzle also has plenty of free blog content to entice potential members. A monthly membership is currently $49/month and includes access to all their resources.
5. Advertise with Google Adsense
While payouts from Google can be low until your blog is pulling in loads of traffic, it’s an easy way of setting up a revenue stream.
Although payments from Adsense can be as low as $0.001 per click, you can work your way up to earning hundreds or thousands of dollars per click if you’re selling high-value goods to quality leads.
To achieve more Adsense success, you need to optimize your ad placements and generate plenty of traffic. Install the free WordPress plugin AdInserter and A/B test your ads’ placements. You can see which ads perform best as well as where on your site they drive the most clicks.
While it may take a while for ads to start generating a solid income, they’re easy to set up and can be an excellent revenue stream if your blog receives plenty of traffic.
6. Join affiliate programs
Using affiliate marketing, you promote products of other businesses and receive a commission for every sale you bring in. The best part of affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to come up with a product of your own. Simply identify some great products created by another brand and promote them to your audience.
The key is to choose products that fit the niche you’re already writing about. Next, you need to write about them naturally and only promote them to your audience if you actually believe in them. That way your inclusion of these products will appear authentic and you’ll be more likely to make sales.
You can contact brands directly about their affiliate programs or you can find products through affiliate networks like:
For example, blogger Ryan Robinson successfully makes tens of thousands of dollars through his blog every month through affiliate links. He teaches his audience how to build a profitable blog from scratch and promotes affiliate products he believes in throughout his articles.
For example, from Ryan’s affiliation with the domain hosting site BlueHost, he’s managed to make over $40,000 in one month.
Again, you’re going to need steady traffic before you start seeing big results from any affiliate programs you join. But the plus side is that once you’re up and running you can generate a solid monthly income.
7. Receive donations
Not all of your readers will want to sign up for a recurring monthly subscription, but some of them might be happy to donate to your blog.
- A tip jar: Visitors can choose to make a donation of any amount.
- Donation platforms: Sites like Patreon help you establish a recurring monthly donation. You can give people perks for different donation tiers.
- PayPal: If you already have a PayPal account, you can add the button to your site and accept donations there.
- Crypto: As crypto wallets become more mainstream, you could choose to accept crypto donations from your readers instead.
For example, Brandon Stanton, the creator of the Humans of New York blog and Instagram account, has a Patreon to help with the creation of future stories. He offers different membership prices so people can pledge what they’re comfortable with.
8. Write reviews or sponsored posts
When writing sponsored posts or reviews, a blogger charges the brand to test the product and then publish a write-up. The product gets exposure to the blogger’s audience and the brand reaches a new audience and gets new customers who might not have come across their product otherwise.
You’ll need steady traffic and credibility in your niche before you’re can get brands to pay for a feature. It’s also important to choose the brands you work with carefully—there’s no point writing dozens of reviews for products you’d never use only to lose your audience’s attention.
Alexis of the blog Fitnancials makes $3000+ per month with sponsored posts. Her blog is based around helping women better manage their money, live a healthier life, and travel the world.
9. Sell ad space direct
Instead of relying on ad platforms like AdSense, you can also sell ad space directly to businesses. With this method, you can choose which businesses advertise on your site instead of Google choosing them for you.
Choosing product ads for your site improves user experience too since people will only see ads that you’ve handpicked. You don’t need to host any spammy or irrelevant ads if you don’t want to.
10. Host paid virtual summits
Similar to a webinar, a virtual summit is a live online event. But different from webinars, there are usually multiple sessions led by different speakers. Summits are usually more interactive and include activities like live quizzes.
Virtual summits are often ticketed or have free access. To maximize your revenue, you could sell an all-access pass allowing people to review material from the summit anytime they want.
Even if you don’t have a ton of followers or regular readers yet, you can see success from summits by getting influencers on board. You can piggyback off their expertise and reputation.
For example, Jon Schumacher launched the Webinar Mastery Summit, a virtual conference for people who want to improve their webinar hosting skills, when he only had an email list of around 2,000 subscribers.
At the conference, he featured 25 experts and generated over $25,000 in revenue as well as doubling his email list.
Jon proves that you don’t need a massive following to monetize a summit successfully.
How to monetize a blog in 2023
If you’re already blogging, it’s a good time to start monetizing your blog.
While steady traffic and a solid follower base will help you generate more revenue quickly, you don’t need it to get started. Start by choosing a couple of monetization methods that feel like a good fit for your blog.
Then, when you’re generating regular revenue, start incorporating more methods. Remember though, always be authentic to your blog and monetize in a way that’s not too forced.
Ready to start monetizing your blog? First, take a look at the AppSumo Store, we have some of the best software deals running.