Want to know how to make money blogging? It's one of the most popular questions I receive from my subscribers!
Most, if not all, bloggers use multiple ways to make money from home. It helps protect them from drastic fluctuations in earnings throughout the year.
Depending on only one stream of income (like ad revenue) isn't the "thing to do" because it leaves you vulnerable to internet or advertising trends throughout the season.
Here's an example.
Advertisers (like those working with Google Adsense or AdThrive) typically spend most of their budget in the final quarter of the year, just before Christmas. This means that you could receive a million pageviews on December 26 and your earnings per 1000 pageviews (RPM) will be lower than normal because advertisers aren't spending much on ads that day.
The same rule usually applies at the end of each quarter throughout the year. Advertisers are resetting their budgets and RPM will again dip for bloggers.
This can be a frustrating experience for anyone depending solely on ad income. The best solution for this is a hot cup of tea and creating multiple revenue streams!
Psssst...don't forget that Blogging to Win is only accepting new students for a few more weeks when this post goes live!
Here are my favorite ways to make money from home as a blogger!
*My revenue streams are listed in no particular order unless otherwise noted.
1. Products (#1 source of revenue)
Creating something with your own two hands (or in my case, my own sturdy computer) can feel very satisfying! It makes you want to shout, "Look, Mom! See what I made?!"
But it can also be very profitable if you've created the right product, have the right audience, are charging the right price, are marketing the right way, and are doing everything else right. Sound difficult?
It's not easy making money selling your own products. But the nifty trick I've learned is to scan every comment, email, and direct message I receive, looking for certain phrases or questions that can help me identify exactly what kind of product my audience needs.
I'm constantly looking for ways to improve but I knew I'd hit a sweet spot when I received my first email saying, "Can I just pay you now? I can't wait for you to open the doors and I want to have access to the course the moment you release the content!"
That email came after months of hard work, cups of coffee, and constantly researching, where I tried to determine how I could help my audience the most.
Imagine you have to ask your readers, "If you could only take one [course, product, etc.] with you to a deserted island, which one would you take?"
...now go out and create that product!
A lot of bloggers discourage the use of ads but this particular passive revenue stream and I have a love relationship that stems back to my good ole days.
Here's what you need to know:
I recommend using them because ads can be that necessary evil to help you afford larger investments in your blogging business.
I didn't have extra money to invest in my blog when I started out. Honestly, my baby boy was less than a year old so all of my income was going towards diapers, doctor visits, and caffeine!
But I knew I needed equipment and I desperately wanted better software somewhere down the road.
Ad revenue alone paid for all of the equipment and software that I used to create my first course. That branch of my blogging business would've grown much slower without the ad income, but now it's my #1 source of revenue!
There's also some talk in the blogosphere about how ads take away from a site's credibility but I'm not sure I agree with this either.
I personally don't think any less of a site (blog or otherwise) when they have ads. As long as the site isn't composed of more ads than content, I simply consume the information on the page and ignore the ads.
Sites like Babble.com, Forbes.com, and even Dictionary.com use ads. Judge their content as you like, but they still maintain a professional experience for users.
3. Affiliate Sales
If you're genuinely recommending any product or service on your website, you should be including an affiliate link. Period.
But please don't run out and start throwing affiliate links all over your site! If you can include an affiliate link in a manner that feels natural, then you're in business.
You write a post about your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and include an affiliate link to your holy grail cookie sheets. You can't live without them and your readers might love them too. Include an affiliate link!
Some affiliate programs are better than others (I talk about my favs to work with right here) so don't feel like you have to just stick with one. I have personally used at least a few links from each site I mention in the linked post above.
And you might find this post and video very helpful if you're looking for tips on getting that first sale and rocking affiliate marketing.
Offering freelance services is a great way to make money from home if you have the time to invest in it!
I worked as a freelance writer and Virtual Assistant before and during the early days of my blog. But once I delivered my son back in the summer of 2014, it became harder and harder for me to handle clients.
The downside of offering services is that your income depends directly on how much time you can put into the work. The more clients you have, the more money you're making, and the more time you need to spend on your work.
Making money passively (selling products, affiliate income, and ads) is my preferred method simply because I only have to invest a large amount of time in the project once.
My most popular course, Blogging to Win, took months to create but the time I have to put into the content creation is essentially over. Students can purchase my course while I'm sleeping or shopping for groceries. It's much easier than working as a Virtual Assistant!
I eventually put a self-imposed limit on accepting new clients for my services because I just didn't have the time anymore. But it was a wonderful way for me to make money when I was first running my blog!