Blogging has exploded in popularity over the past decade. What started as a way for people to share their thoughts online has turned into a full-fledged industry. In fact, blogging has become a highly profitable business for many.
If you have a blog right now, you may be wondering how you can start making money from it. Or maybe the idea of quitting your day job to blog full-time appeals to you. Either way, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about monetizing a blog in 2023.
Why Blog for Money?
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let’s first discuss why you should even consider blogging for money. Here are some of the key benefits:
You Can Be Your Own Boss
One of the best parts about blogging is that you can be self-employed. As a blogger, you ultimately get to call the shots on what you do and when you do it. You don’t have a boss to report to.
You Can Work From Anywhere
Most blogging jobs can be done entirely remotely. As long as you have a laptop and internet connection, you can manage a blog from wherever you want. That means you can make money blogging while traveling the world if that’s what you desire.
It Can Be a Lucrative Source of Income
For many bloggers, their blog becomes their full-time income source. While it takes time to build up a profitable blog, the earning potential is massive. Top bloggers easily earn 5-6 figures (or more) per month.
You Get to Do What You Love
Chances are, you’ll be blogging about a topic you genuinely enjoy and care about. Being able to turn your passion into a career is an amazing opportunity that blogging provides.
You Connect With an Audience
Having an engaged audience who loves what you share is extremely rewarding. Blogging allows you to build a community around shared interests.
It’s Flexible and Scalable
Your blog can be as small or large of a time commitment as you want. It’s flexible to your own schedule and goals. Blogging is also highly scalable, meaning your income potential isn’t limited.
Clearly, blogging can be an amazing way to earn a living. As long as you put in the hard work, the benefits are plentiful. Now let’s look at how to actually make money from a blog.
How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?
A common question that new bloggers have is just how much money they can realistically earn. The truth is, income can vary widely depending on many factors. However, here are some income stats to give you an idea:
- The top 10% of full-time bloggers earn over $75,000 per year on average.
- Top bloggers can make anywhere from $5,000 to well over $100,000+ per month.
- Most bloggers earn less than $100 per month when just starting out.
- With 1-2 years experience, you can expect to earn $500 – $2,000 per month.
- Bloggers with 5+ years experience average around $3,000 – $10,000 per month.
As you can see, monthly income can range from almost nothing to well into the 6-figures. Where you end up depends entirely on your niche, traffic level, and monetization strategy.
Just remember – blogging is not a “get rich quick” scheme. Consistency and hard work over months (or years) is key. But with the right approach, you can absolutely earn a healthy income from blogging.
How to Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Steps
If you want to start a blog that generates serious income, follow this proven process:
Step 1: Choose a Profitable Niche
Your blog niche is the foundation of your success. The most lucrative niches have these traits:
- Passionate audience – Topic has a highly engaged, loyal readership.
- Revenue potential – Readers are willing to spend money on products/services.
- Growth opportunities – Room to expand content over time.
Aim to be a big fish in a small pond. Avoid massive niches like “fashion” or “technology”. Go for targeted niches like “hiking gear for men over 50” or “YouTube video editing tips”.
Use Google Keyword Planner and these [niche analysis tools](https:// Magnet+link https://seoblog.com/niche-analysis/) to validate profitability.
Step 2: Choose a Domain and Hosting
Your domain name should include your main keyword and top-level domain (.com preferred). Get hosting optimized for WordPress blogs. Good options include [Bluehost](https:// Magnet+link www.bluehost.com/), [SiteGround](https:// Magnet+link www.siteground.com/), and [HostGator](https:// Magnet+link www.hostgator.com/).
Step 3: Install WordPress
Self-hosted WordPress is best for monetization. Use the 1-click installer through your host. For tutorials, see the [WordPress documentation](https:// Magnet+link www.wordpress.org/support/article/how-to-install-wordpress/).
Step 4: Optimize Website Design
Keep your design clean and reader-focused. Use minimal ads. Include:
- Simple logo
- Intuitive navigation menu
- Prominent subscribe button
- Useful sidebar/footer content
See top blog designs for inspiration. ConvertKit has a [great guide](https:// Magnet+link convertkit.com/blog-design/) on designing for conversions.
Step 5: Create Valuable Content
Content is the cornerstone of a successful blog. Focus on:
- In-depth, well-researched posts (2000+ words)
- Extensive comparisons, lists, and “ultimate guides”
- Actionable advice readers can implement
Ideas: Interviews, case studies, behind-the-scenes looks, and personal stories.
Step 6: Promote Your Blog
Bring more visitors to your blog through:
- SEO – Optimizing content for search engines. Target keyword research is crucial.
- Social media – Establishing an active presence on networks like Facebook and Twitter.
- Email lists – Email subscribers are vital. Use opt-in forms and deliver subscriber-only content.
- Guest posting – Getting published on other popular blogs within your niche.
Step 7: Monetize Your Content
When starting out, focus on just 1-2 monetization methods. As traffic grows, add more income streams. We’ll cover monetization strategies next.
12 Proven Ways to Make Money Blogging
Once you’ve built a solid blogging foundation, it’s time to start generating revenue from your content and traffic. Here are the top monetization strategies used by full-time bloggers:
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate programs allow you to earn a commission promoting other company’s products. For each referred sale through your affiliate link, you receive a percentage of that sale or a flat fee.
Affiliate marketing works especially well when the products you recommend align with your niche and content. Look for affiliate programs through:
- Amazon Associates – Earn up to 10% on Amazon purchases. Works with any niche.
- ShareASale – Thousands of affiliate products across all categories.
- CJ Affiliate – Leading affiliate platform with major brands.
- Rakuten Advertising – Previously LinkShare. Another top network.
Add affiliate links naturally into content and use affiliate banners/buttons prominently. Be transparent that links are affiliate.
2. Display Advertising
Display ads, banners, and other types of graphical ads allow companies to pay for ad space on your site. Prospective advertisers will ask about your traffic numbers, niche, and readership demographics to determine if you align with their target audience.
Popular networks to find advertisers include:
- Google AdSense – Text and display ads served by Google. Easy to implement.
- Media.net – High ad rates for mid- to large-sized blogs.
- Ezoic – AI-driven ad platform. Optimizes ad layout/performance.
- Individual ad sales – Pitch and sell directly to brands in your niche.
Placing ads in sidebars, headers, content banners, and within posts are common options. Just be careful not to overcrowd your site with excessive ads.
3. Sponsored Posts and Content
Companies will pay you to create blog content promoting their brand, products, or services. You can write dedicated sponsored posts or integrate the content into existing articles.
Sponsored content rates are generally around $75 – $150 CPM (cost per 1,000 views). Popular options are:
- Sponsored reviews – You test and review a product. Details your experience.
- Brand sponsorships – Mention a brand within a relevant article.
- Dedicated posts – Write an entire post around a sponsor’s products/service.
- Social shares – Promote sponsor on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Ensure sponsored content follows FTC guidelines and is clearly labeled as an ad.
4. Sell Your Own Physical or Digital Products
Creating and selling your own products allows you to keep 100% of the profit. Products popular for niches include:
- Online courses – In-depth video courses with premium pricing.
- Ebooks – High-value digital guides in PDF/document format.
- Templates or themes – For blogs, websites, documents, etc.
- Merchandise – Custom apparel, mugs, bags, and other goods.
- Software or apps – For productivity, social media, etc. Can be sold or by subscription.
Leverage your knowledge and audience’s needs to determine profitable products. Use a service like Teachable or Gumroad to create/sell digital products.
5. Offer Paid Memberships
A membership program provides exclusive content and perks to subscribers who pay a monthly or annual fee. This recurring income stream can be quite lucrative.
Memberships work for blogs with very engaged audiences. Lock some content behind a paywall that’s “must-have” for your niche. Provide ongoing value through things like:
- Monthly articles, trainings, or courses.
- Q&As or direct access to you.
- Discounts on products/services.
- Coupons, deals, free tools, etc
Popular membership platforms are MemberPress, Memberful, Mighty Networks, and Circle.
6. Freelance Writing and Editing
Once established in your niche, leverage your expertise through freelance writing and editing services.
Content marketing is hugely important for brands today. There’s endless demand for quality written content.
Offer services like:
- Writing blog posts and articles
- Creating product descriptions
- Editing and proofreading
- Providing SEO optimization
Outbrain has a freelance writing network. Also search job boards or use social media to find clients.
7. Substack Newsletters
Substack has made monetizing email newsletters a breeze. Over 100,000 writers publish paid newsletters through the platform.
Simply move your emails from Mailchimp or ConvertKit into Substack. Substack lets readers subscribe for free or pay a monthly/annual fee to access premium content. You keep 90% of subscription revenue.
Many bloggers earn tens of thousands per month through Substack. It can become a significant income stream.
8. Host Live Events
In-person events like conferences, meetups, workshops, and retreats let you connect with your audience face-to-face while earning money.
Most bloggers host:
- Small local meetups or networking events.
- Larger conferences focused on topics within their niche. Often 1-3 days.
- Hands-on workshops teaching specialized skills.
Make sure to nail down logistics like venue, ticketing, speakers, and activities. Promote the event heavily leading up to it.
9. Create an Online Course
Online courses are extremely lucrative right now. Just look at platforms like Udemy and Teachable that let anyone create and sell a course.
As a blogger, you can leverage your expertise into a premium online course. Types of courses include:
- Video lessons teaching a specific skill or system.
- Action-oriented courses helping people reach a goal.
- Over-the-shoulder tutorials showing your process.
Promote your course to email subscribers and blog readers. Let it bring in passive income for months or years to come.
10. Start a Podcast
Podcasting continues to grow like crazy. Everyone wants audio content they can listen to on their commute or while exercising.
As a blogger, starting a podcast in your niche is a smart expansion opportunity. Your blog content and expertise lay the groundwork for a successful show.
Once you build an audience, podcast advertising, sponsorships, and lead generation can all become sources of income.
11. Get Paid for Speaking Gigs
Over time, you can get paid decent money to speak about your niche at events. This includes:
- Industry conferences related to your field.
- Local meetups around relevant topics.
- Webinars hosted by brands in your space.
Most speakers start by pitching the organizers of these events. Have a clear list of the topics and value you provide to participants.
12. Crowdfund a Product or Cause
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to raise funds for creative projects, products, or causes.
Bloggers leverage their audience to crowdfund things like:
- Developing a new software application.
- Creating a documentary or YouTube series.
- Publishing a book.
- Raising money for charity.
Come up with a compelling campaign that resonates with readers. Promote it heavily leading up to and during the fundraising period.
How to Make Money with a Small or New Blog
The income options we’ve covered work best once you’ve built a sizable audience. When starting out, focus on a few simpler monetization methods.
Here are some realistic ways to earn money from a small or new blog:
Affiliate links should be present from day one on your blog. Even just a few referring sales per month can kickstart your earnings.
Amazon Associates and ShareASale are best for beginners since they offer just about any type of product. Don’t shy away from mentioning affiliate links within content.
Ads like Google AdSense are a fast, hands-off way to monetize traffic. You don’t need millions of pageviews to earn a nice side income from ads. A few thousand visitors per month is often enough.
Just avoid over-optimizing for ad revenue. Don’t let ads dominate or detract from user experience.
Selling Your Services
Offer your skills and expertise as a freelancer to bring in revenue while also building authority. For example, reach out to brands related to your niche and offer to write relevant guest posts for their blog.
Over-deliver on value and build your network through freelancing. It also showcases you’re an industry expert.
Teespring or Merchandise
Creating t-shirts, mugs, and other merch around your brand is fairly simple. You don’t need to invest in inventory upfront. Platforms like Teespring and Printful handle production and shipping when items sell.
Small earnings from merch can add up, especially around the holidays. Fun designs help grow awareness of your blog too.
Blogging Tools to Save You Time and Grow Revenue
Blogging is much easier when you use the right tools. They help you work smarter while also boosting growth and revenue.
Here are some essential free and paid tools for bloggers:
This AI-powered writing assistant flags grammar, spelling, and style errors in real-time as you write. It’ll improve any writing you publish.
Yoast SEO helps optimize your on-page content for search engines. It ensures you target the right keywords in each post.
Buffer allows you to easily schedule and re-share your blog content across social media. Maintain an active social presence without constantly logging in.
Canva makes it simple to design blog graphics, social posts, and more – even if you have no design experience. The templates are foolproof.
SEMrush provides robust keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink tracking, and other powerful SEO and marketing tools.
OptinMonster helps convert visitors into subscribers by making opt-in forms easy to create/test. More email subscribers mean more potential income.
ConvertKit is an email marketing platform built for creators. Use it to send broadcasts, automate sequences, and build your mailing list.
These are just a few of the top tools used by professional bloggers. The right software saves you time while optimizing growth. Many have free plans for new bloggers.
How to Scale Your Income as a Blogger
A profitable blog takes dedication to build over months and years. Pay attention to these areas to continually scale your income:
Consistently Publish New Content
More high-quality content means more traffic, leads, authority, and income potential. Aim to publish at least 2-3 posts per week.
Diversify Your Monetization
Don’t rely solely on ads. Layer on multiple income streams for stability, like affiliate marketing, digital products, memberships, and more.
Expand Your Offerings
Move beyond blog content into podcasts, courses, books, freelancing services, and speaking engagements. Become a household name in your niche.
Double Down on Email Marketing
Email should be your top priority. Newsletters and automated sequences convert readers into buyers better than anything.
Collaborate and Partner with Influencers
Partner with other influencers and experts in your space. Cross-promote content, co-create products, or spearhead a joint venture site or event.
The combined force of your audiences and promotion strengthens everyone involved. Look for mutually beneficial ways to align with respected figures in your niche.
Listen to Reader Feedback
Keep a pulse on what your audience needs, wants, and responds to best. Get feedback through surveys, social media, commenting, and email. Let readers guide your content and offerings.
Hire Help When Needed
Consider hiring assistants to help with tasks that become too overwhelming like social media, technical work, or customer service. Outsource what makes the most sense.
Make Data-Driven Decisions
Leverage analytics from Google, social media, email, and your CMS to make informed decisions. Let the data dictate where to spend time and allocate resources.
Blogging Statistics and Tips for Continued Growth
As we wrap up this guide, here are some interesting statistics and tips to help propel your blogging income and success:
- There are over 600 million blogs on the internet as of last year.
- Only 21% of blogs are updated at least once per week. Consistency is key!
- Articles between 2,100 – 2,400 words long tend to rank best in Google.
- Long-form, in-depth content receives over 2X more leads on average.
- Blogs with 4 to 5 posts per week see 3X more traffic than those with just 1 post.
- Email subscribers drive over 5X higher value than social media followers.
- Popups and slide-ins convert sign-ups 300% higher on average than sidebars.
- 75% of users never scroll past the first 5 websites in search results. Ranking is crucial.
- Guest posting on authoritative sites helps improve domain authority and search visibility.
- Over 50% of your traffic should come from organic search within 6-12 months of blogging. If not, improve SEO!
- Podcasts continue to see tremendous growth across metrics like downloads and revenue. Consider starting one.
- Quora, Medium, and Reddit are great platforms for networking with influencers and promoting your content.
While blogging involves a lot of learning through experience, these tips will provide a great starting framework as you build a profitable site from the ground up.
Just remember – blogging takes immense dedication over an extended period to hit its earning potential. But by consistently providing high-quality content that resonates with readers, the financial and lifestyle rewards will come.
Stay motivated on your blogging journey above all else. The income and freedom of being a full-time blogger make the effort incredibly worthwhile.
Frequently Asked Questions About Making Money From a Blog
How long does it take to make money blogging?
It generally takes 6-12 months to start making small amounts of money like $20-$50 a month. To earn more substantial income of $500+ per month, plan on 1-2 years if you stick to a consistent publishing schedule and focus on monetization.
Can you really make a living blogging?
Absolutely. Top full-time bloggers easily earn 6 figures or more per year. Even $50k/year is achievable within a couple years if you pick a profitable niche, create high-quality content, and monetize effectively.
How much traffic do you need to make money blogging?
It depends on your monetization methods, but at minimum you’ll likely need 5k-10k monthly pageviews to earn a few hundred dollars per month. Boosting traffic to 50k visits or more is ideal to unlock 4 and 5-figure monthly income.
What are the best niches for blogging?
Some top-earning blog niches are in personal finance, digital marketing, web design, photography, food and recipes, lifestyle/family, and software/apps. Look for niches with passionate audiences willing to spend money.
How important is SEO for making money blogging?
Search engine optimization is crucial. The majority of your income will come from organic search. If readers can’t easily find your content on Google, you’ll miss out on potential traffic and revenue opportunities.
How much does the average blogger make?
Most hobby bloggers make under $500 per month, especially when just starting out. Part-time bloggers generally earn around $1,000 – $3,000. Full-time pro bloggers with 5+ years experience average around $3k – $15k per month.
How many posts per month do I need?
Ideally, you should aim for 8-12 blog posts per month at minimum. Roughly 2-3 posts per week allows you to continually create fresh content while also promoting/re-promoting existing posts.
Building a profitable blogging business takes significant work. But it provides immense lifestyle freedom and financial upside for those willing to put in the effort.
This guide covered a complete step-by-step blueprint for making money blogging along with plenty of tips to maximize your income.
As the digital media landscape continues evolving rapidly, a blog focused on high-value content and community will always thrive.
The journey to full-time blogging has its ups and downs. Stay persistent through the challenges. Trust that consistency and hard work pays off.
Here’s to your blogging success in 2023 and beyond!