I know it’s hard to understand how you can make money online, especially if you’ve seen other blogger’s income reports with how much they make ($100k/a month!) and it may seem phony. I’m here to tell you that it’s real and you can totally do what I’m doing if you want to work at home, travel, make your own schedule or live a more content life. Below I break it down for you so you can see 4 Simple Ways to Make a Full-time Income Blogging.
First off, I must put this out there that the below methods of making income blogging are the ones I’ve used that have worked for me. These methods may not work for everyone and your results may vary. There are several avenues of income for most successful bloggers.
Blog income comes from more than one revenue source
If you’ve ever read other successful blogger’s income reports (this blogger is one is my favorites), you will see that blog income comes from more than one revenue source. Although my income comes from several different sources, one source may generate more income than others depending on the time of year, page views, and current promotions.
Below are the different ways that I make income from my blog:
- Affiliate Sales
- Advertising Networks
- Selling a Product
- Sponsored Posts
If you’re a blogger and have yet to try making extra money using affiliate marketing, you are missing out! Affiliate marketing is really simple to introduce to your readers. Many of my readers want to know what products and services I use anyway so linking directly to them benefits them and myself. It’s an easy way to make money at no extra cost to you or your readers. Affiliate income is somewhat passive income as well. You can create a blog post with affiliate links and still make money from it years later! It’s 100% affordable since all of the programs that I’ve found are always free to apply. Some affiliate programs may ask that you try their product first (like read an eBook) so you can offer an honest testimonial.
There are many affiliate programs you can promote depending on what fits your niche. Below I share my top earning affiliate programs and the courses I took to learn more about affiliate marketing.
Amazon Associates Master Class
I follow a few successful bloggers that are pros when it comes to affiliate marketing and took their training so I could make more money using affiliate programs. Check out how this blogger makes $78,000 a month and teaches how she does it in this Amazon Associates Master Class course.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
One of my favorite finance bloggers to follow is Michelle at Making Sense of Cents. Michelle was featured in Forbes last month revealing how she made close to $1 million dollars from her blog in 2016. She posts her monthly blog income reports and breaks it down so you can see where the money comes from (and you can see that affiliate income contributes a huge chunk). I can only hope to one day be like Michelle, so I took her course that she launched in 2016, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Michelle’s course helped grow my affiliate income while teaching strategies I never knew to implement. She is a role model for many bloggers since she posts her monthly income reports and exceeds income levels that some bloggers only dream about. Michelle’s course is self-paced and the worksheets and assignments completely changed my perspective on my affiliate income strategy. Check out her course here.
One of the most popular affiliate programs that bloggers use is Amazon Associates. It’s super easy to apply and start linking to products on Amazon that you are probably already recommending to your followers. Go here to apply to the Amazon Associates program.
I use ShareAsale to easily apply for several affiliate programs using their platform. You can find direct links to banners, products, and promotion codes to send to post to your blog, social media sites, and send to your followers. Go here to apply to be an affiliate for ShareASale.
I love the team at Ultimate Bundles because they make it super easy to make affiliate incomes from their popular bundle sales. They offer a different bundle every other month so no matter what your niche, there is something for everyone. Some of their most recent bundles that I promoted were the Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle, the Healthy Living Bundle, and the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.
Other Affiliate Programs
There are many other affiliate programs that you can find and promote to your readers depending on your niche but I don’t suggest a product or service just because there’s a big commission. All of the products and services I recommend are ones that I use and love.
Another way that I make income from blogging is by using ads on my site. Ads are a simple way to monetize your site but you must be careful not to go overboard with the ads. I’ve tested the ad limit on my blog and when I hear complaints from readers that the ads are annoying, I take it down a notch. Below are the ad networks that I use.
Google AdSense provides a flexible and easy way to generate income without having to anything other than cut and paste the code to your blog. It’s free to sign up and Google controls which ads your readers see based on their browser history. Place your ads in places most seen on your blog, at the top, bottom, and sidebar works best for me. Go here to sign up for Google Adsense.
Media.Net is similar to Google Adsense. It’s free to apply and you just cut and paste code into your blog where you see fit. I also use Media.Net as a backup for Amazon CPM ads (mentioned next). Go here to sign up for Media.Net
Amazon CPM Ads
I first learned about Amazon CPM Ads from Chantal at Busy Blogging Mom. Amazon was still piloting the program at the time she wrote that post so I had to request to be added to the program from Amazon. It took them 24 hours to add CPM Ads to my Amazon account and I was able to set up my first Amazon CPM ad in minutes using Chantal’s tutorial. I definitely see a huge difference in my overall Amazon revenue after adding CPM ads.
This ad network requires that you have over 100,000 monthly page views but once I hit that number, I applied right away because there is a long waiting list. Go here to apply for Ad Thrive.
Selling a Product
Selling a product is the first way I monetized my blog. Actually, it’s the reason why I started my blog. I opened my Etsy shop in 2015 and realized I should have a blog to promote my products. There are many different products you can easily sell online. My favorite products to sell are digital because they offer passive income but I also sell physical items. I offer physical greeting cards, printable decorations, printable organization labels, and I’m about to launch an eBook 🙂 Below I share my favorite sites (other than my own) to sell my products and the courses I’ve taken that helped me launch my products.
As I mentioned above, I opened my Etsy shop in 2015 and it has grown into supporting my blog by bringing in income every month. Etsy is very user-friendly and it’s simple to start listing items right away. Go here to get your first 40 listing for FREE 🙂 Make sure to use keywords in your listing title and tags so your products get found easier.
Amazon Handmade is similar to Etsy but with Amazon, you can use their warehouse services and offer Prime shipping. I have not opted to use this feature due to the nature of my physical greeting cards being made-to-order only. However, if you are able to manufacture and distribute your products and utilize the full benefits of Amazon, selling your products through Amazon Handmade may prove to be a solid income. At this point, Amazon Handmade does not allow you to sell digital products. Go here to apply for an Amazon Handmade shop.
SendOwl makes is easy to sell digital products directly from your blog. They also offer an affiliate program for your products, which means others can apply to be an affiliate for your products then promote them and make commission. I use SendOwl for digital products with a file size that is too large for Etsy (Etsy has a file limit of 20MB). Go here to check out SendOwl.
I benefited greatly from taking the Book Boss course hosted my Abby and Donnie Lawson from Just a Girl and Her Blog and Building a Framework. I enrolled because I want to launch several eBooks this year and I really had no action plan to do it. There were many takeaways from the course but one big takeaway for me was the modules where Donnie thoroughly explains how to use ConvertKit. I was using ConvertKit for 7 months and had never taken advantage of these features that Donnie went over! That and the detailed information to push my product was what I needed to finally get my first eBook together. You can check out Book Boss here.
Elite Blog Academy
I can’t say enough good things about EBA and although the course teaches more than just selling your own product, I had to include it in this post about how I make a full-time income blogging. I attribute much of my success to taking the EBA course and have a full blog post about it here. Although the doors to EBA only open once a year, you can sign up for the waiting list and get so many amazing blogging tips and resources for free from EBA’s founder, Ruth Soukup. Go here to check out the freebies and sign up for the waiting list here.
At this point in my blogging career, I can’t say I have much experience with sponsored posts but I have made income from them! Below are a few ways that I’ve landed a sponsored post.
CollectiveBias or Social Fabric
Social Fabric makes it easy to connect brands to influencers (bloggers) to promote the brand and/or product. The average sponsored post is from $150-$500 and I’ve found they offer more options than similar sites. Go here to apply to Social Fabric and become an influencer 🙂
Pitch a Brand
If you want to work with a specific brand or want to promote a specific product, you can always try pitching a brand yourself. The worst that can happen is they say no (or ignore you).
Of course, if you try any of these avenues to make money blogging, having a strong email list and page views will contribute to your success. You can read how I got 5,000 blog subscribers in 30 days here.
Thinking about starting a blog?
It doesn’t take much money to start blogging. BlueHost starts at $2.95/month and WordPress is SUPER easy to set up to start blogging. It takes some getting used to navigating on WordPress, but you don’t need any technical skills to get started. I highly encourage all business owners to have some sort of blog for their business. One reason why I started blogging was to link my products from my Etsy and Amazon shops to create more SEO possibilities.
If you want to get started blogging in no time, read this post on How to Start a Blog in 4 Easy Steps.
I have to admit that when I became serious about blogging, I realized that I need A LOT of help getting this blog where I want it to be. Not only did I enroll in the Elite Blog Academy (which is closed now but will open again soon) but I also invested in Abby Lawson’s Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook. Abby details how to grow your hobby blog into a business and the info she provides is fantastic! I read through the book in a matter of hours adding bookmarks with my to-dos. She provides everything that you need to know if you are just starting a blog or need some pointers to push your blog further. It’s a must-read for bloggers!
Be sure to check out my Resources page for all of the blogging resources that I used to turn my blog into a money-making business!
Make sure you have a host with enough space/speed…
Like I mentioned above, BlueHost is great if you are just starting out. I switched to WebFaction with the recommendation of my IT support team but I’ve also heard great things about WP Engine. If you plan to have tons of pictures (like me) then you should check out hosting providers with more storage and speed, in which case, WP Engine or WebFaction are the way to go. Go through this link to get 2 months free at WP Engine when you pay annually.
Add a theme to make your blog stand out
When starting to blog, there are many free themes (designs) that you can choose from, which is how I started. Although it didn’t take long for me to want to have more control over my design and stand out. That’s why I highly recommend purchasing a theme through StudioPress. Here’s the SMP blog theme (Modern Pro Blogger by Pretty Darn Cute) if you like my theme. My theme has 5 different color options, patterns, etc to personalize and make it your own. I highly recommend a theme with the Genesis Framework!
Create a blogging time management schedule
Time management is a struggle for most bloggers (especially newbies!) and finding the perfect work-life balance will make or break your success. Since I like helping my readers (that’s you!), I’m going to share my time management process for your blogging journey and give you my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for FREE!
Get my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for Free!
All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my guide for how to manage your time and create a work-life balance while creating your blog business!
You can always send me an email if you have blogging questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. I’m not a technical person and do not consider myself a WordPress pro, but I’ve taught myself A LOT through this blogging journey of mine!
Psssssttt…Right now I’m offering my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for FREE! All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my guide for how to manage your time and create a work-life balance while creating your blog business!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links or a sponsored post. All opinions are always 100% mine and I don’t partner with any product or company that I don’t use and love. Please see our Full Disclosure for more information.