The internet offers a wealth of guidance on how to make money blogging. As a newbie, it may start to get overwhelming as it feels like too many people are telling you what to do when all you’re looking for is to hear what is right for you.
On top of that, most of the guidance out there is missing a key step to help you make the most from your blog. If you haven’t realized yet that there’s more to earning online than just advertising or affiliate income, buckle up because we’re about to tell you how you can earn 20-60x your monthly earnings.
Wherever your blog is today, it has the potential to transform into a six-figure business with the right steps. We’re going to go over six steps on how you can maximize your income from your blog and teach you how to translate that into a profitable exit.
6 Ways to Make Even More Money with Your Blog
This list features some heavy hitters you’ll likely already know, while there are others that deserve a little more of the limelight. The beauty here is that any of these tactics can be blended together to grow your blog’s income. As long as it suits your audience and your niche, the sky’s the limit!
1. Affiliate Marketing
Most of the internet is powered by affiliate revenue.
Almost any product review that links to the product sold online is receiving an affiliate commission.
Affiliate marketing is simply where you sign up with a company or a network (a network is just a company that houses many offers from different businesses) to sell their products or services. Generally, you get paid every time someone either buys something or signs up for the service.
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that you have plenty of options for affiliate networks. You can sign up for affiliates related to your blog’s niche that have high commissions for their products or services. You can also leverage your content using several networks and mix and match your affiliate offerings.
Or, you can take advantage of one of the strongest affiliate networks that relies on the world’s biggest ecommerce market, Amazon.
2. Amazon Associates
Amazon Associates is a specific kind of affiliate network that deserves a category of its own.
By using the most popular and trusted shopping network, Amazon affiliate links have a solid conversion rate. This is why many of the internet’s affiliate marketers use Amazon Associates.
Depending on the niche, Amazon affiliate links typically earn up to 10% in commission. It’s worth noting that Amazon Associates usually offer lower percentage commissions for their products, with the tradeoff being that the 24-hour cookie added to the searchers’ browser that links back to you has a higher likelihood of leading to a sale on Amazon than anywhere else.
To get the most out of being an Amazon Associate, research your niche and product offerings carefully. You can strategically build out your content based on the products you’d like to promote. You can even add other affiliate networks to the mix. In doing so, you make your overall website stronger against any commission structure changes on any one network.
3. Display Advertising
Adding advertising to your site is one of the easiest forms of monetization to implement.
To get started, you sign up for an ad network, and the ads will be placed around your blog, ranging from banners to sidebars and even in the content itself. All it takes is adding a bit of code to your site, which would help you get matched with advertisers and ads relevant to your audience.
Google Adsense is one of the most popular ad networks in the world. If you were earning from Google Adsense, the breakdown of money flow would be like this:
- Traffic to website
- Traffic clicks on Google ad
- Google charges the AdWord advertiser
- Google splits what they charge the advertiser with you
Most ad providers calculate your revenue on a cost per click (CPC) basis. Every time someone clicks on an ad, you earn money.
It’s a great hands-off way to make money from your website. In fact, some sites generate the entirety of their income from ad revenue alone. The only hang-up is that there are sets of criteria to hit to be accepted by advertisers. You may need a certain amount of traffic to qualify for higher-end ad networks, and you need to abide by terms of service to stay with a network, including Adsense.
Thankfully, you have other options for ad networks besides Adsense. To get the most out of adding advertising to your site, keep an eye on your traffic, and as it rises, see if you can qualify for ad networks like AdThrive or Mediavine. If you can meet their minimum traffic requirements of 20,000 and 100,000 visitors a month, you could earn higher payouts.
Also, keep in mind that the quality and evergreen nature of the content you create can help you drive sustained traffic, which would translate to ad revenue in the long term.
4. Info Products
Info products can typically be broken down into digital products like e-books, PDFs, and online courses. Info products offer a flexible and creative monetization outlet for bloggers.
There’s tremendous potential with info products because the price point is decided by the website owner. If you can prove your bespoke PDF or e-book will provide great value to your audience, you can charge accordingly. If you have a course that you’ve built out and has made an impact on people, you can easily build out testimonials and have an evergreen course page on your blog that earns you income alongside all these other monetization tactics.
It’s worth noting that info products rarely sell themselves. You’ll need to put in some legwork around marketing whatever your product is to get initial sales going. But once you’ve mastered that info, products make a unique income stream for your blog.
5. Sponsored and Paid Posts
Just like info products make room for you to charge your own prices, sponsored and paid posts open doors for you to charge based on your site’s value.
Whether it’s a sponsored post or a paid guest post, you can leverage the success of your site to further monetize your content.
In the case of sponsored posts, brands may ask you to review and/or promote their products. You may see this commonly applied to social media influencer marketing. This would be the blog version.
Budding businesses may want to appear on your blog if your audience fits their niche. Should you decide to go this route, make it clear that this is a sponsored post as a disclaimer at the top of your article. That way, you ensure transparency with your audience.
While it’s not as common, you can also charge other writers for guest posts on your site. If your site is bringing in decent traffic and someone would like to make an appearance as a writer, you benefit from a little extra cash while the writer gets their name out there.
A caveat here is that you’d have to ensure you’re not helping a competitor appear on your site that might lead them to potentially rank higher than you. You’d also need to ensure the quality standard stays the same.
Either option is another way to push your blog further as a money-making machine.
6. Physical Products
Less commonly used but powerful tools are physical products.
As a blogger, you likely have a good handle on content creation and marketing, which means you’re a step ahead when it comes to selling physical products.
You can branch out with your blog by adding a dropshipping or print on demand (POD) component to your site. Neither option involves storing and fulfilling inventory yourself so you can focus on just marketing the products. Amazon Merch offers sellers POD options for a range of inventory, while Oberlo is a popular option for dropshipped products.
By pushing out of the normal blogging boundaries and dipping into ecommerce, you use the skillsets you already have—marketing and building an audience—to sell your own products. It gives you more control over how much you earn from products you promote and makes your blog even more lucrative.
How Blogs are Valued
All these tactics lead to a higher monthly income, which is great, but this monthly revenue can be leveraged for even more value.
The way you push this monthly revenue further is by selling your blog. When you put your blog up for sale, your blog goes through a valuation process, and if put up on a marketplace, it would be open to thousands of buyers hungry to buy an established online business.
It’s easy to get a valuation for your business through valuation tools like this one.
Once you fill out a few questions, you receive a valuation for your business. The valuation formula is simply:
Valuation = Avg Net Monthly Profit X Multiple
Typically, the average net monthly profit uses a 12-month window. The multiple is then decided based on a host of internal factors and will typically fall within a wide range of 20–60x. Remember, that’s your monthly revenue multiplied between 20–60 times its worth.
There are many ways to increase your multiple. To get a higher multiple as a monetized blog, aim to raise the average monthly income of your site. That means using any of the six monetization strategies mentioned above to increase your income so you can get a higher multiple.
But there are other ways beyond upping your income to gain a higher valuation. Here are other tactics that can help you gain a better multiple as a content-based business:
- Using outsourced writers to produce your content (buyers like a business that is hands-off)
- Building a site in an evergreen niche or a growing niche
- Keeping the face and personality from being central to the site so a buyer can take it over
- Using multiple revenue streams to strengthen the site should any issues occur with one revenue stream
- Using white-hat SEO tactics as buyers like to know their site won’t be penalized by Google
- Building an email list with an addressable audience
Your business’s value is never truly fixed as long as there’s room to improve your site. With every upgrade you implement today, you boost the valuation of your business down the road.
Make Six-Figures Selling Your Blog
Even with all the different ways you can monetize your blog, the most lucrative way of bringing in money from your business is by selling it.
By selling your blog, you can make up to 2.5 to 4 years of profit upfront.
To put it in perspective, your business could sell for $101,750 according to the following assumptions:
- Your blog is currently making $2,750 a month
- It shows a good growth trajectory
- The site is in a strong niche
If your online business is valued at a multiple of 37, you can insert these numbers into our formula as described above:
- 37 x $2,750 monthly revenue = $101,750
That turns the $33,000 you make on the business a year into six figures.
Hopefully, this gives you a sense of all the potential income your blog could generate. With an open mind and a bit of work ethic, you can transform your blog into a full enterprise. Learning how to sell it can help you earn handsomely in the process.
Sarah Nuttycombe is a Content Specialist as part of the Empire Flippers Marketing Team. Before joining Empire Flippers she spent five years as an editor and producer for documentary films, working on shoots around the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Over the years she has bounced between her native Richmond, VA and 30+ countries for work and personal travel. Sarah is passionate about the digital nomad lifestyle so you’ll likely never find her in one place for too long.