Blogging

35 Smart Ways To Make Money Blogging

There’s more than one way of making money with your blog, that’s for sure. However, some ways are sketchy (I’m talking pyramid schemes or pushing fad products) and some ways won’t amount to anything.

If you already run a blog and are looking to find REAL and SMART ways to monetize it, this post is for you.

Each of these 35 ways is a legitimate method you can use to increase your blog’s income. Even if they don’t all interest you or apply to your blog, they’re sure to get the gears in your head spinning and help you come up with unique twists or ideas for your own business.

Take a look at my income reports to see which ways are currently working the best for me.

Affiliate Marketing: Best Networks

Below are only the best affiliate networks for bloggers, and also the ones I’m part of myself. Some networks and products are sleazy, and I don’t believe in promoting those products.

1. Join Amazon Associates.

amazon

Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world and you can make serious money by joining their affiliate network. They pay between 4% and 8.5% commission (the more items you sell, the higher your commission).

2. Join Linkshare.

Linkshare is a great network to join for fashion and beauty bloggers, and beyond. They’re the largest affiliate network and host many popular brands and retailers. Commission varies between programs, but it generally starts at 5%.

3. Join ShareASale.

ShareASale is another huge affiliate network that hosts a ton of programs. If you’re new to affiliate networks, this one is easy to use. I’ve also found that programs tend to offer higher commissions than on Linkshare.

4. Give iHerb’s referral program a try.

iHerb is an online health store (they sell everything from shampoo to supplements) that ships internationally. If you’re a beauty, lifestyle, or health blogger, you might want to check out their very attractive affiliate program.

5. Join Pepperjam Network.

There’s no such thing as joining too many affiliate networks. You might find profitable programs on Pepperjam that aren’t anywhere else.

6. Join Target’s affiliate program.

Target is a huge retailer if your audience is American, and they do have an affiliate program. It’s hosted on Impact Radius and it’s free to join. The commission they offer varies from 5% to 8%.

7. Apply to RewardStyle.

rstyle

RewardStyle brings a ton of brands and retailers under one roof. This network focuses on fashion bloggers, but anyone can apply. They offer very good commission and long cookie durations.

Want to get into rStyle? Leave a comment and I can send you an invite. Keep in mind there’s no guarantee since they still have to approve your site.

8. Promote other bloggers’ products.

Some bloggers have products of their own. If they take affiliates, you can become an affiliate and earn a commission when you promote their products to your own audience.

9. Become an affiliate for your favorite brands.

Not all brands are part of the popular affiliate networks. Ask your favorite brands if they have an affiliate program. If they don’t, offer them to partner up through a coupon code. You can provide your readers a discount code and earn affiliate commission.

Affiliate Marketing: Strategies

Once you’ve joined those affiliate networks, there are several ways of boosting your affiliate sales. Try the ones listed below and you’ll see results if done right.

10. Create a “shop” page with your favorite products.

gd

Make a new page where your readers can shop your favorite products. Use affiliate links to monetize that page, and make sure to link to your “shop” page in the menu.

11. Use affiliate links in social media posts.

You’re allowed to use affiliate links on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As long as you’re not being spammy, you can share relevant affiliate links on your channels.

12. Write reviews of your favorite products.

The keyword here is “favorite”. Writing reviews for mediocre products or products you’re not in love with isn’t going to make anyone purchase whatever it is you’re reviewing.

Don’t write rave reviews for products you’re not genuinely passionate about, or you’ll lose all trust. However if you are genuinely in love with a product and find it super helpful, write a rave review and use your affiliate links.

13. Make posts for every big sale or promo.

Most of your affiliates have sales every now and then. Whenever they’re having a big sale, share it with your readers through a new post. You can also mention some of their best products in the post, and don’t forget to share your post on social media!

14. Include links in your emails.

Are you collecting emails? If you have a large enough email subscriber base, you’ll get great results from including affiliate links in your emails. Be careful not to end up in the spam folder, and make sure to provide enough value.

Pay-Per-Click Options

Pay-per-click means that you’re getting paid a small amount of money every time a reader clicks on a third-party link. Pay-per-click might be a good option for smaller bloggers, but often times I don’t find it ideal.

15. Join ShopStyle.

shopstyle

With ShopStyle, you make a small amount (usually 5 to 10 cents) every time a reader clicks on your text links. You can link to a large number of stores and retailers. ShopStyle is free to join and easy to get in.

This is my favorite option of the bunch, but it’s also highly targeted towards fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers.

16. Join Skimlinks.

I don’t personally use Skimlinks, but it’s a really big company and some bloggers swear by it. Skimlinks basically adds links to your content, and those links are monetized per click.

There are other similar sites you can look into (such as Viglink) but I won’t mention them all in this article.

Ads, ads, ads

Selling Ad space on your blog is one of the oldest and most obvious ways of monetizing a website. The more traffic you get, the more appealing your blog will be in the eyes of advertisers.

Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to having ads on your site.

17. Join Google Adsense if you’re a new blogger.

Google Adsense is a popular way to incorporate ads to your blog. They most pay per click, and the amount you get paid varies depending on your niche. Typically, you get paid between $1 and $4 per ad, but some ads can pay up to $20 per click.

Any new blogger can get accepted into Google Adsense as long as they have a blog that doesn’t violate any rules. Click here to sign up.

18. Join an Ad Network like AdThrive.

adthrive

AdThrive is the Ad Network I’m currently on, and I recommend them if you’re looking for third-party ads. They pay you per impression and not per click, which I believe to be a good thing for publishers/bloggers.

An Ad Network puts bloggers and ad sellers head-to-head, and they do all the work to set up the ads on our blogs. Typically, they split the earnings 50/50 with the blogger.

There are also other Ad Networks out there, such as Federated Media and Monumetric.

19. Join an Ad Network related to your niche.

Some ad networks cater to specific niches. An example of this is Gourmetads, which is a way for food bloggers to have targeted food ads on their sites.

By showing ads that are relevant to your content, you’re getting paid more for each ad.

20. Offer private ads to relevant brands.

This is the best way for you to make money with ads, especially if you’re new at the game. Simply email brands and retailers directly and offer them advertising space on your site.

You can create a sheet with your rates and statistics, or you can include all the info in your media kit. If your blog is new, contact startup or local companies.

A big advantage of private ads is that you control everything. The ads also won’t slow down your site like third-party ads do. The con? You have to put in all the work to find advertisers.

Sponsored Posts

If you have a large audience, you can make a lot of money through sponsored content on your blog. By sponsored content, I mean writing a post to promote a brand in exchange of money. This often also includes taking pictures of their products and coming up with a great story for your post.

21. Join Linqia.

linqia

Linqia pays you per click as you promote a certain campaign on your blog and social channels. I don’t personally use Linqia, but I’ve seen a lot of bloggers rave about this network. The more work you put into each campaign, the more it pays off.

22. Join Massive Sway.

massivesway

Massive Sway is a network where bloggers can find sponsorship opportunities. You get notified of any fitting campaigns (as shown below) and you can apply to those you want to take part in.

massivesway-campaigns

23. Join Pollinate.

Another network bloggers rave about is Pollinate. To Join this one, you must live in the US or Canada and get at least 20,000 monthly pageviews to your blog. Pollinate is big on “storytelling” and creating a community.

24. Find your own sponsors.

This is how I’ve always operated when it comes to blog sponsors. I list my sponsorship opportunities in my media kit along with my rates. Whenever a company contacts me for a collaboration, I tell them about the type of sponsorships I can offer and give them my media kit.

You can also actively seek sponsorships yourself by emailing brands that might be interested. The longer you blog, the more sponsorship opportunities will be coming along your way, even if you’re not a part of a network.

Digital Products

Perhaps the most accessible way of creating your own products. With digital products, everything is done online and the product you’re really selling is information.

25. Sell kindle books.

A Kindle book is essentially an eBook in a format that’s compatible with Kindle reading tablets. The advantage of creating books in this format is that users can search for Kindle books on Amazon. You have the potential of getting a lot of eyeballs on your book, even if it’s not very well-known.

26. Write an eBook.

Similarly, you can write an eBook yourself and advertise it on your blog and to your mailing list. If you have a large readership and you can offer them an eBook that matches their interests, you can make a big profit.

Don’t forget that writing an eBook is free (or low-cost) since there’s no publishing involved and you can DIY the whole process.

27. Create a course.

Do you have a skill that your audience could benefit from? There’s potential to create a helpful course about anything from knitting to building the best ferret play den.

28. Add a members-only section to your site.

Some websites are 100% membership-based, and their whole business model revolves around it. If you already have a blog, you can find a middle ground: consider creating a section of members-only content. You can include helpful articles, graphics, templates, printables or any goodies for your members to download.

28. Come up with a subscription service.

By subscription service, I mean offering a service that requires a recurring payment to keep accessing it. For example, if you’re a good photographer, you can offer a library of stock photos that you take. Subscribers would pay a monthly fee to access your stock photos and be able to use them on their blog.

Physical Products

Creating physical products is more involving. Below, I listed a few of the simplest ways of achieving this for bloggers. They involve some external help, but you can promote your products on your blog.

29. Design T-Shirts with Teespring.

Want to make T-Shirts with logos or designs you create yourself? It’s easier than ever with a company like Teespring. You can go through the whole process online and let them handle everything for you, from printing the shirts to shipping them.

30. Open an Etsy store.

Do you have any skills when it comes to crafts, handmade items, or anything artsy? You can sell anything from handmade skincare to custom blog logos to jewelry on Etsy. Create your Etsy store and use your blog to promote it!

31. Create products with Society6.

If you’re a talented designer, you can use Society6 to help you create objects with your designs on them. They can put your designs on everything from mugs to pillowcases to iPhone cases. Go create products, and show your readers your awesome work.

branching out

Your blog can act as a launchpad to other online opportunities.

32. Start a podcast.

Does talking about your favorite topics sound amazing to you? Podcasts are still huge and they’re not going anywhere. Podcasters make money through sponsorships. You can also include a podcast as part of your blog, making it easily accessible from every page.

33. Start a YouTube channel.

Most of us are visual creatures. Blogging is great, but there’s something amazing about creating and watching video content. For one, it’s easier to form a stronger bond with your audience via YouTube.

Do you know who else loves video content? Google. Since they own YouTube, it’s not surprising that so many Google search results are on YouTube.

34. Get in on the instagram action.

If your Instagram audience is through the roof, brands will offer you paid post opportunities. Some Instagrammers make a complete living off of the platform. If your numbers aren’t there yet, it might be a good idea to grow it. Hopefully you’ll use your influence for good and not for *cough* detox tea.

35. Write for online publications in your niche.

mbg

When you blog about a certain topic long enough, you’re considered an expert in that field. If you love writing (which you probably do if you’re a blogger!), go see if your favorite blogs or online magazines accept contributors. Many do, and they pay per article.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

24 Comments

  1. This is great stuff. I’m new to lifestyle blogging, and I don’t think I have any followings. I got denied for Google Adsense and people I know said that it’s actually harder to get accepted now. I’ll try again in a few months. There are many points here that I haven’t tried yet, so I’ll be working on that. My strategies so far have been pinning, and commenting on blogs ( like this ). Do you think that is worth my time?

    1. Thanks Lisa! I think Pinterest is a great way to grow your blog. I can’t knock commenting on blogs because you can get a little bit of traffic that way, but it’s definitely not as effective.

  2. So I just started my blog in October and I signed up with ShopStyle Collective as well as Amazon Associates. I’d love to get into RewardStyle eventually as well but when you’re signed up with so many affiliates, how do you choose which ones to use for each link?

    1. If multiple programs offer the product I mention, I either go with the highest commission or with the store where most people are likely to purchase from (this means big retailers like Amazon or Nordstrom). The bigger and more trustworthy the store, the better. This doesn’t matter for ShopStyle though because you get paid per click, so you can link anywhere. Your blog looks great by the way!

  3. You’re getting a notice on top of the page that shouldn’t be there dear. Notice: wp_seo_get_bc_title is deprecated since version WPSEO 5.8! Use wpseo_breadcrumb_single_link_info instead. in /var/www/rosevibe/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4083

  4. Hi Suzi – I love your blog and the content is original and super useful. Thank you for sharing. I just started my affiliate shop and have a few questions and hope you can help:

    1. rstyle affiliate – would you mind to send me an invite? I would love to join this program.

    2. Pinterest followers – do you have any useful tips to grow Pinterest followers?

    Thank you so much!
    Liz

    1. Hey Liz, thanks! Let me know what your blog is and I’ll look into it for rStyle. I’ll keep your suggestion in mind for my upcoming post about Pinterest, but essentially, creating good pins and joining Group boards is what works best.

  5. Blogs are great ways to make a few bucks on the side, but they’re also a fun way to build a career. One thing that I’ve never heard of is Society6, but I’ll definitely look into it. It seems like it has a lot to offer. Great article and great ideas!

  6. I just discovered your cruelty-free make up blog and this one, and I’m amazed how incredibly fast and great your journey has been. Inspiring.
    Been wanting to join rewardstyle and it would be great if you could send me the invite. Thank you Suzi❤️

  7. Your site is AMAZING! It has been so helpful to ,e as a new blogger. I. Just getting started but your tips have helped so much. Thank you! I would really love to get into rStyle and have applied twice already… if you could send me an invite to refer me that would be greatly appreciated!,

  8. Hi. Your blog is so helpful! Thank you so much. I’m very interested in getting into rStyle. I have applied twice already but if you could send me a referral invite, that would be amazing!

  9. Hi Suzi,
    I love your blog and all your tips and have it bookmarked! I’ve only been blogging for a short while, but I have 20+ years experience in my blogging topic (fashion). Would I have a chance to be accepted for RewardStyle? May I have an invite please? My blog is https://thefashioncollector.com .

    Thanks so much for all you do for our blogging community!

    Trace :o)

    1. Hi Trace, thanks so much for your kind words! Did you end up getting into rStyle? I can send you an invite if not!

  10. Hi. I’m really enjoying your blog. I tried to enter my email for the 7 day course, but it sends me to an error page when I try to subscribe. Please send help! 🙂

    1. Hi Joanne, sorry about that! The 7-day course is currently offline but I’m considering bringing it back in the future.

  11. Hi Suzi,

    I’m in the process of building my blog website and your website is so incredibly helpful! Do you have some options for creating “shop page” without ShopStyle and RewardStyle? I want to use affiliate links from amazon and Linkshare. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ann! I simply use pictures of the products tweaked in Photoshop (or any photo-editing app). You can also create some custom css with the product name and description, and basically make it look like rStyle. You can probably use a plugin for this as well but I couldn’t suggest any particular one since I haven’t used them.

  12. Hi Suzana,

    I love your blog! About a year ago I started a blog helping people transition to a vegan diet and cruelty-free lifestyle. I want to recommend products to people, but I’m not sure what the protocol is for using a brand’s product photos. For now I just link to them using my affiliate link, but I think visuals are so important so I want to incorporate pictures. I want to monetize with affiliate marketing and a shop page like your post suggests, but I’m not good at taking pictures. Do you recommend I use the images on Amazon, Ulta, etc.? Or is that copyright infringement or against the affiliate network’s terms of service?

    Thank you!
    Lacey

    1. Hi Lacey! As long as you link to the store’s product page, there’s really no risk to use their product pictures. It’s not violating any affiliate rules, and my assumption is it’s considered fair use. I use pictures from Amazon, Ulta, Sephora, or from any store that I’m linking to. I also modify the pictures (for example adding a background) and have had no problems. Just make sure you’re linking to the store the picture is from.