Top 20 Ways to Make Money with a Blog in 2023
Do you want to try to make money with a blog this year?
It might seem like it’s impossible or too hard because of all the competition. But in reality, everything is oversaturated with competition, and people are still successfully making money with modern-day startups.
You can make money, too. It isn’t impossible. But it might take some work. More on that in a moment!
But there are many ways to make money with a blog in 2023 and beyond.
In this article, I’ll give 20 of the best ways to make money blogging, and you can use a few of them or all of them to increase your chances. Let’s get started!
It Takes Work to Make Money with a Blog
It will take work to make money with a blog in this day and age.
That’s because every market is typically oversaturated and high in competition. But don’t let that discourage you because people are still doing startups and successfully earning in the first year.
But I typically tell others to do a three-year plan for their blog regarding business and making money.
Year 1: Focus on content and consistency. Just create, create, and create some more. Find your rhythm and focus on mastering consistency.
Year 2: Focus on marketing and expertise. Start a community and develop expertise in your niche. Get on social media, pay for ads, do some marketing, and master SEO.
Year 3: Make money. You have the content. You have the marketing. You have the expertise. Hopefully, you have a community and following built up. Now you can focus on the money.
But you can do all three steps sooner, even in less than a year, if you have the will to commit to the kind of work and effort that will take.
And don’t be discouraged if you have bad luck at first. You might fail once or even a few times. You just have to keep trying and working to improve.
It takes work – be prepared for that.
1 – Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when you promote products and services of other companies and earn a commission on any resulting sales or leads.
You should make sure you choose affiliate products and services that align with your niche. If your blog is about camping, you don’t want to post affiliate links about playing basketball. You would want to post camping affiliate links.
You should only promote products and services you believe in. If you promote something you would never use and your audience determines that, you can lose your reputation and be seen as a sellout.
Make sure you’re transparent about the affiliate products or services. In most cases, you must identify a link as an affiliate link and give an alternative to those who do not wish to use your affiliate link.
2 – Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is when you partner with a brand or company to create content that promotes their products and services. You’ll usually earn money through the initial sponsorship. You might have the potential to earn affiliate sales, too.
Make sure you choose the right sponsors that align with your niche. Do your research to ensure the sponsor isn’t highly disliked or untrusted.
You must disclose that the content is sponsored. In many cases, it’s required by law.
Ensure you create specifications that sponsors must follow and enforce with all sponsors.
Be selective about whom you choose as a sponsor. Once you start to get more known, many companies will start to contact you for sponsorship. Many of them are not worth the time and just want a backlink. Be very picky about it.
Negotiate fair compensation for the sponsor and for you. Don’t charge too much but don’t charge too little, either.
3 – Display Advertising
There are a few ways to use display advertising to make money with a blog. You can sell ads to companies and brands and not have a middle-man. This will allow you to earn more, but you must “cold call” businesses and pitch them your ad sales. Alternatively, you can use an ad network like Google Adsense, where Google does all the work but also takes a large percentage.
Make sure you choose the best ad network for your financial goals. Google Adsense tends to be one of the best, but another alternative exists.
Optimize your ad placement for the best method of earning more money. Just be careful about how many ads you place on your blog so you don’t annoy your readers to the point where they stop visiting.
Keep in mind that people will use ad-blockers. In all honesty, you should let them do it without attempting to stop them. If you sell ads directly, it’ll be harder for readers to block ads.
4 – Digital Products
There are many opportunities for selling digital products on your blog. Setting up a store is simple with plugins; you can start selling overnight. You could sell eBooks, PFD guides, templates, photos, video footage, software, plugins, and more. You can sell one-time, bundles, or even do a subscription service. Their possibilities are endless.
Make sure you choose digital products that align with your niche and audience. Don’t sell things that have nothing to do with your writing.
Price your product correctly. Most of the time, digital books will be significantly cheaper than physical books. The software might be expensive but physical products tend to be expensive because of the materials that go into making them – digital is expected to be cheaper. But don’t sell too low, either.
Focus on product benefits rather than features in your copy. Not everyone will enjoy every feature, but everyone wants to know how a product will benefit them and improve their lives.
Make your product sales pages with visually appealing media and content. Use persuasive copywriting and sales language. Your objective should be to sell the product to anyone who reads about it.
Offer an outlet page, special offers, and bonuses to buyers. Cyber Monday is a great day to offer discounts to increase sales.
Provide the best customer service possible. Poor customer service will make you lose sales in the end.
5 – Physical Products
Your blog is a great platform to run a shop that sells any physical products you have created.
You want to make sure the products align with your niche. Selling cycling apparel on a blog about fishing isn’t going to give you that many sales in most cases. You’ll have a different audience for that product.
Ensure the materials used to make your product are high quality. Cheaply-made products will give you and your blog a bad reputation.
Set competitive pricing and consider the cost of materials, labor to create the product, marketing, and shipping costs. Make sure you add profit to the equation, too.
Use professionally shot product photos for the best results. Showcase your products at their very best to get more sales.
Use a good store platform such as WooCommerce or Shopify. These platforms will integrate with most blogging platforms like WordPress.
Conduct search engine optimization for your eCommerce business to target buyers. Get on Google My Business if you have a local presence, too.
Provide the best possible customer service that you can provide. Be known for your quality customer service; people will spread that around.
Take advantage of social media influencers to help promote your products. Start an ambassador program and get others to help promote you.
6 – Coaching and Consulting
If you’re an expert in your niche or industry, you can use your blog to establish your expertise through content marketing. After that, you can offer coaching and consulting services to others in your industry and niche market.
You must make sure you choose a niche you know a lot about. There needs to be an active audience in that niche who needs help with their space within the industry.
Create coaching packages to offer different pricing levels based on the number of services you will provide. For example, you might charge $100 for an hour of coaching or $1,500 for weekly coaching on-demand for three months.
Continue to build your brand and expertise. Blog content should always be free. You can still provide paid services through coaching and consulting through one-on-one focus. But you must continue publishing free content that helps people in the niche to retain your expertise.
Offer free consultations or audits as a way to entice people to buy your full services. Host a contest or two and give away coaching services to get reviews and social proof.
7 – Membership Community
A membership community is a great way to make money with a blog. You provide a community for your followers that they can access for a monthly or annual fee.
Try to give a nice discount for those who buy an annual fee as a way to earn more money from members. For example, you could charge $10 a month or $80 a year to get a 20% discount.
Your goal is to provide daily value to your members. They’ve paid to be a member, and now they need to be able to get something out of it every day they log in. Add value to it and fill the gaps your members need.
Ask for feedback from those who do not continue their membership. Make changes when appropriate.
Provide a way for members to network with one another and help them by introducing them to each other.
Hire a community manager to focus on all aspects of growing the membership community and providing significant value.
8 – Webinars
Webinars are a great way to make money with a blog. You provide a learning experience for payment. Online learning has created a boom for creators in these modern times. Everyone is looking to skill up in the area they’re interested in.
When offering a webinar, it’s best to go with a theme related to your niche. The best kind of webinar is typically one that will show others how to improve their life or make money with the niche. You might even consider teaching people how to do what you’re doing if you don’t mind the potential competition.
Make sure you choose a webinar platform that is user-friendly and known by others. Zoom, Google, Teams, and others make great platforms for this sort of thing.
Poll your audience and have a Q&A if doing a live webinar. If not, ensure they can email you questions after attending it. Live webinars typically do better, though.
Consider paying for a few webinars related to your niche and going through them. It’s best to know how to do something before you commit. You can also find information gaps they are not providing that you might be able to fill with your own webinar.
Offer smaller webinars for smaller prices and master classes for more expensive price tags.
9 – Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is definitely an option to make money with a blog. This is best to use when you have special projects and ideas for your blog. Let’s say you want to release software in association with your blog, but you need money to make it – crowdfunding would be an ideal option for raising the money.
Crowdfunding isn’t going to work as a continuous income stream for your blog. Crowdfunding works when you have a specific thing you want to fund.
Choose a great crowdfunding platform such as GoFundMe or similar. Ensure the platform is easy to use and trustworthy; otherwise, people will not give you money.
Make sure you create a persuasive campaign with a realistic goal amount. Promote your campaign and give updates about efforts to reach your goal amount.
Offer rewards and perks to backers, especially those who donate significantly. Discounts, free trials, and free access to paid things are great rewards and perks.
10 – Donations
Donations are still a great way to earn revenue with a blog. Look at Wikipedia – they survive year after year by having an annual donation drive. If they can do it because of their loyal followers, why can’t you do it with your loyal followers?
Offer an incentive for donating. You could do what Wikipedia does and not show any kind of ad in exchange, and you ask your followers to help meet your donation drive goals.
You can use donation services like Buy Me a Coffee (this is an affiliate link) to get quick little amounts of assistance. Put a statement like “Like this blog post? Buy me a coffee” in every article to enhance your chances of getting a donation.
Many people follow blogs that will donate to your cause to help you keep your content flowing.
11 – Paid Reviews
You can offer brands and businesses paid review services. This is where they send you products and pay you to review them with your blog. In many cases, they let you keep the product as the payment for the review.
You typically won’t find many deals where you get to keep a product and get paid for it unless you earn commissions from sales made from your reviews through an affiliate link or referral.
Make sure you review things related to your niche so you don’t confuse your audience.
Everyone out of the woodwork will send you product review requests as your blog popularity grows. About 90% of it is junk; you shouldn’t accept it. Be picky about what you review so that you’re not ruining your reputation by reviewing something everyone knows is useless.
Only positively review something that you yourself would use. Explain to companies that you give honest reviews only. If they can’t accept that – you shouldn’t do business with them.
12 – Paid Guest Posts
Selling guest blog posts is a common way to make money with a blog. Many companies and marketing agencies are willing to pay to provide you with a guest blog article. Some are even willing to pay you to write it.
Many of these people and companies will try to provide one for free. You can accept free guest articles here and there, but you should only do so from individual creators who are not doing it for commercial purposes. Those who want to do it for commercial reasons should pay for it.
Choose a good pricing structure. Don’t let the guest bloggers try to lowball you and offer an amount that is too low. Stick to your guns on your pricing decisions.
Reverse search content provided to you to ensure it is unique and not already written. You should also reverse-search images to avoid getting hit with a copyright claim. I recently had to pay nearly $1,000 after unknowingly violating an image copyright. Even though I apologized and immediately took the image down, I was at fault because I didn’t ensure it was legit first. Don’t make my mistake.
Don’t sell links. All links in paid and free blog links should be set to “No Follow.” If the blogger can’t accept that, then you know they’re just trying to buy a link which can significantly harm your SEO ranking and even get your blog banned from Google.
Be extremely picky about whom you allow to be a paid guest blogger because many of them provide bad quality and are just trying to get links.
13 – Freelance Writing
You can use your blog as a portfolio to showcase your creative writing. Then you can offer your services as a freelance writer using your blog’s content.
Try to stick to a specific niche as a freelance writer. As AI gets stronger, writers who write about anything will start to lose business. Those who niche down and become known in their industry will still have enough authority and reputation to keep selling their skills.
Focus on becoming an expert at writing and editing. Learn copywriting and SEO, and use tools for editing, such as Grammarly, to help you through it.
Create realistic pricing for your work. Don’t offer less than you’re worth but try to be fair about how much you charge. I typically write articles of about 2,500 to 3,000 words and charge about $100 to $150 for each article. Sometimes I do it by the hour and charge around $30-$50 an hour, pending the project.
Write the best content you can for your customers.
14 – Podcast Sponsorship
Many bloggers get into the world of podcasting. Podcasting is just like blogging, but you use your voice instead. It’s a growing industry with many opportunities to make money. Adding a podcast feature to your blogging activities can not only help you make more money but also help you get more popular.
The start making money with podcast sponsorship, you need to focus on growing your audience first. Sponsors want to purchase ads on podcasts with a lot of listening and episode downloads. Focus on your viewership first and then move to sponsorship.
Sometimes you have to find the sponsors and “cold call” them by trying to pitch your sponsorship sell. You’ll get rejected, and maybe quite a few times. But if you keep trying, it will get easier.
Determine your pricing for sponsorship. Make sure you don’t choose a rate that’s too low for your efforts, but you should also make sure you don’t charge too much.
When you create sponsored ads, make sure they’re compelling. If you want to keep a sponsor, you must help them make money by creating the best ad possible.
Make a name for yourself as a great podcaster who treats their sponsors well; more will come your way.
15 – Sponsored Social Media Posts
As a blogger, you should consider growing a social media presence. It’s a great way to develop a community around you, your blog, and any sort of brand you’re trying to establish. You can also use social media to make money with a blog.
You first need to build a social media following. Because of how algorithms work, just posting promotional content on social media isn’t going to be positive. You need to build an organic community on each social platform you’re a part of. Trust me – you’ll win in the end if you do it that way.
Then create a sponsorship page on your blog detailing your sponsorship options and their rates. Include social media as a way to get a sponsored post. Make sure you show some social proof in terms of analytics and community. You could also sell “addon on” plans for paid guest bloggers where you’ll share their posts on social for an increase in money. Take advantage of these things.
Learn copywriting techniques and use them on sponsored social media posts. The idea is to make the sponsor some money. If you do that more, they’ll keep doing business with you. So, copywriting can help you set the wording right to encourage your followers to buy from the sponsor.
Make sure you disclose that the post is a sponsored post. Some sponsors will try to talk you out of it, and those are not ones you should do business with because they’re trying to practice unethical means of sponsorship.
16 – Online Courses
Online courses are a great way to make money with a blog. You can create a course around the niche or topics you blog about. If you do it right, you can create a master class for each sub-topic around your niche and do several courses.
The first thing you need to do is choose a course topic that will benefit someone’s life. It should either make their life better or help them make money. If there isn’t a grand benefit, people will not be willing to spend money learning about a topic.
Plan your course strategically and thoroughly. Make sure you create the best course possible. It needs to be extremely user-friendly and easy to complete. Think about what homework you want to assign, quizzes, and how participants can get something out of every session. That’s how you keep them coming back to future courses.
Create a landing page for your course. Use persuasive wording and copywriting techniques meant to make someone want to buy your course. You need to sell people because your course will benefit their lives.
Don’t undersell yourself. College charges a lot of money per credit hour. A course can make a lot of money, too, even if it isn’t a college credit or certificate. Some people can earn anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per person for each course they release, pending on the topic and what will be gained from learning about it.
Create a community around your course so that students can interact, network, and collaborate with one another even after the course is complete.
17 – Events and Meetups
Events and meetups are a great way to make money with a blog. You can do virtual events or in-person venues. These events can be conventions, tradeshows, or even meetups. You can charge money to attend the events, get a ticket, and sell products and services.
It’s best to start out small with virtual or in-person events. Have a couple of guest speakers and a cut-off on participants that can attend. Starting out small will help you learn from any mistakes or failures that could happen.
As you continue, you can gradually increase the limit of the event. It might even become a large event that is well-known in your niche.
Consider all the costs of event management and marketing when determining your pricing structure. Virtual events take fewer logistics but can still earn very nice profits from ticket sales. In-person events will cost quite a bit to get going, and you want to ensure you profit from them.
Marketing your event is going to be critical. You’ll probably need to invest in paid marketing efforts to spread the word, especially if you want the event to be big.
Make sure you hire an event planner who knows what they’re doing, especially in person. There are building code laws you must follow, catering needs, license requirements, and a lot of red tape that can cost you a lot in penalties and citations if you don’t get it right.
Attend other related events to get an idea of running successful events.
18 – Brand Collaborations
Brand collaborations and partnerships are a great way to monetize your blog. These are where you and another company agree to collaborate with one another in return for sharing traffic. Some collaborations are paid, while others are not. The non-paid ones can still get you a large amount of new traffic, which could help with other means of making money with your blog.
You need to develop a strong brand attached to your blog to get involved in these types of collaborations and partnerships. You can do this by constantly posting content on your blog, social media, and in your community. Help others with their problems and be as friendly as you can. Brands who want to collaborate want to partner with other known brands.
Try to identify brands that align with your niche and can benefit your brand if there is a collaboration. Research the brand to see their previous collaborations. Make sure the brand has a good reputation. Don’t work with sketchy brands that have a lot of bad reviews.
Pitch your collaboration idea to the brand with many back-ups to support why it’s a good idea. Include blog metrics and content examples, a plan of how the collaboration will work, and how it will benefit both of your brands.
Negotiate fair terms, whether it is pricing or a certain amount of marketing; both are required to do. Make sure it is fair for both you and the other brand and benefits both brands.
19 – Public Speaking
Public speaking gigs can definitely originate from blogging. I do several public speaking sessions yearly because of my local hiking blog. It’s a great way to earn money, network, get more followers, and continue to develop your expertise.
My first tip to you is to do your first few speaking events for free. It can be hard and stressful if you’ve never spoken in public. You need a few sessions to get the hang of it and overcome any fears. When it comes to being afraid to speak to an audience, just remember it’s the same people as you and me. It’s no different than you talking to another person. Don’t sweat it.
Be unique and memorable. To do that, I ensure that every public speaking event is unique and not repeated. Comedians will use the same jokes all season long, and because of that, they miss opportunities to bring in the same customers because they’ve already heard those jokes. Make your speeches unique every time, and you can bring in more than just new people.
Plan and practice your speeches before you do them. It helps, and it will help you make changes. Have some friends and family watch you and point stuff out to you to change.
Add humor, entertainment, shock, and awe to your speeches. People love to be entertained.
When it comes to pricing for your speeches, consider all the costs it took to do it. That includes gas, equipment, hourly wage, and anything else. But don’t charge more than you’re worth. I do local-only speeches and typically charge between $150 to $500 for 1-2 hour gigs.
20 – Video Content
This is the age of video, and if you want to make money with a blog in 2023 and beyond, you must start using video. Use it on your blog, on YouTube, on social media, and anywhere else where it’s applicable. Everyone is into video, and sometimes shorter video formats tend to get better attention.
It’s important to create high-quality and engaging video content. Look around at some of the best video creators and figure out what they do to make their videos pop. Learn how to edit and use transitions like a pro. Work to improve every video a little bit more each time.
Start a YouTube channel and work to get up to the criteria to join the partner program. Then you can make money with ads on your videos. You can also sell ads to companies directly to make even more money without having to give YouTube a cut.
You can use videos for affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and even review content. Sometimes companies prefer video over text-based reviews and sponsored content. You can embed the videos on your blog to showcase them to your audience.
You can also create videos to offer as premium content for membership and course features. You could even charge for access to each video if you wanted to.
It definitely isn’t impossible to make money with a blog these days. But it will take time and effort to be able to do it. In most cases, you’ll need to build an audience and a community. Having a brand really helps, too. But you can do it. Anyone can if they put their mind to it. If you enjoyed this article and want more blogging advice, definitely subscribe to my free newsletter.
About the Author
Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers that follow this blog. Shawn also offers a variety of services for extra help in the area of content creation, blogging, forums, and digital marketing. Learn more about Shawn Gossman by clicking here.
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