The Best Ways To Make Money Blogging And What To Avoid 2

In a previous post, I described how you can make money blogging especially when you have a large audience and huge traffic.
Here, I will show you how you can also make money blogging with a small audience or having little traffic.

If you are just starting out and have a mildly popular blog, I have a few other good monetization strategies saved up. These can bring you a pretty penny to cover your hosting fees paid tools and even fund a trip abroad once in a while (hehe).

1. Offer Your Services: Your blog is an excellent platform to kick a start an online career.
The options are plentiful:

Offering writing services
Social Media Marketing
Design and Branding services
Travel planning
Themed workshops e.g. branding, photo editing, guitar lessons
Just name it!

In fact, a lot of bloggers I know earn a vast majority of their income from the side services they offer (me inclusive).

Here’s how to use your blog to land clients:

- Create an attractive hire me page & sidebar widget.  No one will offer you a job unless you imply you’d be happy to take one ☺
- Create services page or a separate portfolio website to market your services.
- Outline your expertise; define what’s included in each service plan and the minimum budget you work with.
- Include testimonials. If you don’t have any just ask your long-term readers or fellow bloggers to endorse you in exchange for a quick job.

Just be creative and use your blog to attract potential clients by covering the topics they are likely to search for. And network with other bloggers and your fans. You never know who may bring you a great referral!

2. Create a Physical Product or Merchandise:
Launching an e-store is easy these days. As a blogger, you already have a potential audience to market and sell the goodies to. All you need is to figure out what exactly your readers want to purchase.
For instance if you are a food/travel blogger you can team up with another creative and start selling relevant merchandise e.g. calligraphy travel maps and T-shirts like Jodi from Legal Nomads. If you are a graphic artist, you can always sell T-shirts and other merchandise with your personal drawings. If you are into web design, you can create and sell custom blog themes. A DIY (do it yourself) blogger can sell his or her hand-made stuff.

The problem with having an e-store and/or selling physical goods on your the blog is that unless you do home delivery, there’s a ton of hassle involved.  Finding reliable vendors and marketing your shop takes a lot of time and efforts as well, plus for some of us thinking of a relevant product is rather difficult.

3. Sidebar Ads: While banner ads seem to be on the decay with a rampant banner blindness most web-users have developed, in some cases, they can still, help you earn some extra cash.
To sell sidebar space to other bloggers, you can exchange or sell spaces. Exchanging or selling sidebar space as part of the “Sponsor Me” kit is a common practice among bloggers of all sizes. If your blog gets over 50.000 visitors per month you can charge up to $150 per banner and host 5-10 of them per month. Create a separate page on your blog advertising the offer. Outline the additional value you can offer e.g. social media shout out, a blog post with sponsors mention etc.
To sell sidebar space to advertisers and to make a pretty penny out of this, you need to have a really popular blog. Most advertisers will pay you per click, rather than per view (with exceptions of course). You also use sidebar space to place affiliate ad banners, however, those tend to bring rather low income.
To sell sidebar space to companies who may want to create awareness about an event, product or service, you can name your price and be sure it doesn’t scare them away because they may be the way to other companies.

4. Sponsored Content and Brand Collaborations: Depending on your niche collaborations with brands and producing sponsored content can be your primary income stream or earn you some great side-income.

For instance, top travel or fashion bloggers mainly live off ambassador programs, collaboration with brands and sponsored content production and placement. However, I don’t know any tech or marketing bloggers, who reap the same rewards. In general, publishing sponsored or branded content on your blog can bring you something. It all depends on your niche, your blog size and social media stats.

A lot of brands these days don’t mind working with smaller niche bloggers with highly engaged readership, rather than choosing to endorse big name publishers. The problem with sponsored content, however, is that in most cases you can’t make a viable income out of it without turning your blog into an advertorial and losing credibility among your fans.

Here are a few good networks you may want to join to get on the advertisers’ radar:


5. Product Reviews and Giveaways: This strategy is similar to the previous – you may expect some brands to offer you a fee for hosting their product giveaway or publishing a review or just receive a free product with no monetary compensation on top. The problems are the same – you can’t host too many giveaways or publish tons of product reviews (unless you run a review blog of course!) to earn a decent sum.
Plus, this income stream is non-recurring, typically requires long-negotiations and detail settlements with the company.

6. Get Support From Your Fans Like Donations and Crowdfunding: If ads or selling products does not align with your personal brand and you want to be 100% transparent with your fans, consider asking them for help. Donations and crowdfunding usually help creative bloggers (e.g. comics artists, writers, video creators etc) to stay afloat and continue running their blog for free and even paying rent. If you have an engaged audience who wholeheartedly supports what you do, consider asking them for tips. You can create a simple donate Voguepay or PayPal form and place it on your sidebar or at any other prominent place on the blog.

Alternatively, there are amazing crowdfunding networks to support creators or one-off projects. Some include:
- Patreon is a recurring funding platform for creators, who can ask the fans to donate $X per month in exchange for a small reward e.g. access to a special monthly Hangout with the artist; access to additional content and so on.
- Beacon is a crowdfunding platform for journalists eager to pursue unique stories or long-term investigations requiring travel and time-off from their regular job. Wannabe authors can benefit from this platform as well.
- Flattr is similar to Patreon. As a creator, you can register and create a donation request page with them to send your fans too.

7. Advertising: Well, this is different from selling sidebar ad space. Here you can signup with other advertising networks who will supply you ads to display on your blog. When you reach their threshold (different ad networks have different thresholds) you get paid.
This is a good strategy too and you can surf through the available networks and check out the one that suits you.
Some ad networks include:
Google adsense

Some of them are pay per click, others are pay per action, some are pay per momentum. Be sure to read their terms and mode of payment before applying so you don’t go contrary and get banned and lose your account and money.

Okay, I think that’s all I can remember for now!
So, those are the best strategies to make money blogging and even turn your hobby to a highly-profitable, full-time career!

I would love to hear your questions and suggestions in the comment section below. What monetization strategies have you tried? Which results did they bring you?


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