How Do Blogs Make Money: 10 Ways to Cash In (+ Pros & Cons)

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Every other day, a new blogger claims they are earning a full-time income from their blog. But how exactly do they do it?

In this article, we will discuss 10 popular methods bloggers use to cash in on their passion, along with the pros and cons of each approach.

Top tips to make your blog a success

Now you know how blogs make money, you need to think about how you can make your blog a success and utilize those monetization methods to cash in as much as possible!

As someone who has built, managed, and sold multiple content sites, here are some of my top tips for success. 

Choose a profitable niche

Choosing a niche that has the best earning potential is a crucial first step in the journey to becoming a professional blogger. Especially if you want to use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog, a niche with high-ticket items is a must. 

Many profitable blog niches are highly competitive, like lifestyle blogs and mom blogs—but don’t let that scare you off. Choosing a competitive niche gives you more opportunity to do competitor analysis and suss out what works and what doesn’t, giving you a blueprint to work from.

Further reading

Keep it unique

With more than 600 million blogs out of 1.9 billion websites in the world and over 6 million blog posts published daily, you need something to set you apart from the competition.

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Example of an article on pet funeral planning from a blog about pet memorials.

There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from a competitor who is absolutely killing it. But think of a unique way to go above and beyond to offer something better than what’s on the web. Here are some ideas on what you can do:

  • Write from your personal experience – If you want to start a pregnancy blog, talk about things you wish someone had shared with you when you were pregnant.
  • Offer more thorough knowledge than others – For example, go above and beyond with product reviews, such as including an unboxing and review video. 
  • Use custom visuals – Most people skim content. Infographics, videos, and original images can help catch readers’ attention. 
  • Fill gaps in the market – Maybe you love alpacas, but there just aren’t enough dedicated blogs out there. That could be your goldmine idea right there.

But an important note: It also needs to be of high quality! Being different isn’t enough. Blog posts that are expertly written with actionable advice are what both users and search engines want to see. In fact, Google’s guidelines state:

Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.

Make your content both useful and interesting by:

  • Finding a unique angle for your topic.
  • Writing clearly and concisely.
  • Making it easy to read and absorb.
  • Satisfying search intent and E-E-A-T.

Further reading

Use SEO to grow free, passive traffic

Anyone can start a blog. But not everyone can make a blog successful. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you earn free traffic from search engines like Google and Bing.

One of the biggest mistakes new blogs make is writing about the wrong things. Writing about topics that people are searching for gets your blog in front of interested readers. This can grow your audience and get more leads for your products, services, and courses. 

Using a keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer can allow you to identify relevant, high-volume keywords, understand search intent, and analyze competitors’ keyword strategies.

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Want to learn more about SEO? Check out our SEO course for beginners.

Build an email list

As amazing as SEO is, things can change on a dime. Sometimes, you’re just one algorithm update away from losing half your traffic (yes, it happens!), and that’s why capturing emails is so important. 

A niche-relevant newsletter sharing your own content and any other relevant things happening, like news or job opportunities, is a great way to gain thousands of subscribers that can turn into leads and sales.

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An example of one of the leading SEO newsletters, SEOFOMO, which has over 27K subscribers.

As long as you aren’t spamming, you can contact your email list whenever you want. This is a great way to capture leads if you add additional monetization methods like courses, products, or services. 

Expand your blog by adding additional channels

You can make the most out of your blog (and possible income streams) by adding additional channels like social media, YouTube vlogging, or even a podcast. 

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Example of a parenting blog that has expanded to include digital products and a podcast as an additional channel.

This allows you to expand your target audience and can give you opportunities for additional monetization methods (YouTube ads and sponsored podcasts, for example) and further revenue streams.

Final thoughts

There are many ways blogs make money, and many of these can be utilized to ensure your blog has multiple income streams. 

Whether it is recommending affiliate products in your blog posts or selling consulting services, there are many monetization methods with great earning potential open to even beginner bloggers. 

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.

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