How do Bloggers Make Their Money in 2020?
25 Sources of Blogging Income
I have to say… blogging would have to be one of my favourite types of online mediums out there.
I love to write! And there’s so much potential to really niche down into almost anything, opening up the opportunity to make money blogging.
But, blogging actually wasn’t where we started because we believed a common misconception… That it was too difficult to earn money blogging.
But when we started to understand the concept of blogging our mind shifted and we began to see each blog as a piece of online real estate, which can pay dividends in many different ways.
So in this blog, I’m going to share with you 25 different ways that bloggers make their money to hopefully inspire you to start your own blog. Or, develop a solid business strategy that both suits you and has the potential to be highly profitable.
Is It Possible To Still Make Money Blogging in 2020?
Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter what platform you decide to use to create your online business, there’s going to be a learning curve.
After experimenting and trying different methods, we found blogging the method that suited us best.
The more we explored the concept of blogging, the more we started to recognise that there were many bloggers making a solid income from their business.
We began to see blogging as an incredible asset for our business that could return truly passive income, in many different ways… In fact, here are 25 different ways that bloggers make their money.
- Promote An Affiliate Product
- Sell Ad Space
- Teach An Online Course
- Offer Consulting Services
- Offering Freelance Services
- Write Sponsored Posts
- Offer Coaching Services
- Create A Business Directory
- Sponsored Social Content
- Premium Gated Content
- Sell Merchandise and Physical Products (eCommerce)
- Sell Templates
- Host Webinars
- Host Sponsored Contests or Giveaways
- Private Boot Camps
- Create A Private Community
- Write an E-Book
- Site Sponsorship
- Job Board
- Write Tutorials
- Take Your Expertise Offline
- In-Content Affiliate Links
- Product Reviews
- Dropship Products
- Create A Resource Page
25 Ways Bloggers Make Their Money
This list is made up of 25 different ways that bloggers make their money.
Building your email list will allow you to make many of these same monetisation strategies to really amplify your earning potential. This is one of the reasons why building an email list is so important.
1. Promoting Affiliate Program
I wanted to mention affiliate marketing first because it’s actually how we discovered this whole new world of making money blogging.
The thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t actually need to come up with a product or service of your own. This limits the expenses involved in getting set up and is the perfect place to start out for newbies.
There’s no customer service, refunds, product research and development, staff wages, overheads, etc.
Affiliate marketing allows bloggers to focus solely on recommending products and services that you already know, like and trust to people who’s problems could be solved with your recommendation.
Affiliate marketing proves to be the perfect monetization model for those in the online space. It’s one of the most common and lucrative ways that bloggers make their money.
Affiliate programs are available in pretty much any niche, and can range from a very small commission, to high ticket items (up to thousands of dollars per sale).
Some affiliate programs will provide recurring commissions and second tier commissions.
Using affiliate programs that pay well can help you establish a strong income base from your blog.
2. Sell Ad Space
This strategy is often attractive for bloggers wanting to make money from their website. Quite often though, bloggers can find that selling ad space doesn’t pay as much as they thought it would.
Please know though, that there is still plenty of opportunity here in the right situation.
There are a range of different advertising companies which you can partner with to sell ad space to advertisers.
Mediavine is typically the holy grail of selling adspace because it pays around 7-10x what Google Adsense would pay you. However, Mediavine do have a number of requirements you need to meet in order to be accepted as a content creator.
3. Teach an Online Course
In our opinion, selling online courses has the biggest potential for earning big money through online blogging.
Creating an online course is a great way for bloggers to leverage their time and knowledge by serving it to any number of people.
Like consulting or coaching, there really is an abundance of opportunity in any niche for bloggers to teach people what they know and earn an income from this.
Online courses don’t need to be complicated.
You can provide online access to a course without any additional support, or you can package it with a masterminding group that you host (e.g. Facebook Groups), follow-up support window (e.g. 6 months or 12 months of email support) or possibly even one-on-one coaching after the course.
The flexibility around how it can be set up can give you a tiered system of what you offer meaning you can touch on a number of different price points which cater for a range of different people if you choose.
Online platforms such as Kajabi, Teachable, or Thinkific allow you to host your course and arrange payment opportunities, however their hosting fees can be a limiter for people just getting started.
Thrive Apprentice and Learn Dash plugins are really good alternatives and a lot friendlier on the hip pocket.
We use Thrive Apprentice for our online courses because we love the amount of support and free training provided by Thrive.
Create a Free Thrive University Account and get loads of free training on building your website and your business.
4. Offer Consulting Services
Consulting provides bloggers the potential to earn very good money, and there is a demand for it in almost any niche.
Bloggers with a tight niche can capitalise on their knowledge by offering paid consultations.
Consulting doesn’t require you to meet clients in person anymore.
Instead, consultations can be done over the phone, Zoom, Skype, email or other online software which allows you to connect with your clients.
5. Offering Freelance Services
Bloggers who offer their services online means they have the potential to reach customers from all over the world.
This way they aren’t restricted to your suburb, town, or city.
This does still require you to trade your time for money, so if the goal of you creating an online income source is to achieve more lifestyle freedom, this one might not be the best choice for you.
A 2019 Forbes Report (Full-Time Freelancing Lures More Americans) suggests that ‘as of 2019, 35% of U.S. workers are now freelancing‘ and suggested that ‘60% make more than they did in a traditional job‘.
So while it may not generate you true lifestyle freedom, it is certainly possible to earn a good income freelancing or selling your services online and still achieve geographical freedom.
6. Write Sponsored Posts
As bloggers build up their site visits on your website, they are sometimes approached by other businesses requesting a sponsored post.
Business will pay you a fee for hosting an article they’ve written about their product or service.
These essentially act as native ads for their businesses.
The businesses benefit from this by having organic content placed in front of an audience that is in line with their own, and you will be paid to do this.
Keep in mind that you should always value the integrity of your blog over the monetary gain by reviewing content before approving it.
Always ensure that you have a disclaimer clearly displayed on your blog.
If the article does not serve your audience or does not align with your overall message in your blog, it is best to NOT accept sponsored posts on your site.
7. Offer Coaching Services
Coaching is similar to consulting, however coaching is normally more one-on-one work, rather than providing advice and strategy for a larger team or organisation.
Like consulting, there is room for coaching services in a multitude of niches and you have a lot of flexibility in how you put your coaching packages together.
Perhaps you want hourly packages, courses with followup coaching, unlimited email advice packages, etc.
Like freelancing, coaching may not lead to true lifestyle freedom because it still requires you to exchange your time for money.
If you’re anything like me though, this is not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t mind doing work that I actually find meaningful, providing I can do it on my own terms in allowing me the flexibility to work around my needs and the needs of my kids.
Private coaching usually comes with a bigger price tag and has the potential to generate a very good income.
The bigger the problem people have, the bigger the price tag that can be applied.
8. Create A Business Directory
As bloggers start to build their audience, they find they often get asked the same question around recommendations for certain businesses or services.
Creating a Business Directory directly on their website where other businesses can enable them to earn subscription fees for listings much in the same way as Yellow Pages, but on their website.
9. Sponsored Social Content
In a similar instance to sponsored blog posts on your site, bloggers can give space on their social media accounts to other businesses – Facebook Lives, Instagram Pics, etc.
They can be very minimal effort to actually set up, and can pay off nicely.
The going rate would depend on the size and quality of your audience.
This kind of thing you’ve probably heard about with big Insta influencers, etc.
10. Premium Gated Content
The whole purpose of a blog is to give out valuable information to readers. But some bloggers hold off giving your MOST valuable content away for free.
Instead they charge a premium to unlock certain content to those willing to pay for it through a membership.
You can set this up on your standard WordPress website by using plugins that can act as a paywall and closing off to those who have not yet paid their membership.
A couple of plugins that can do this include MemberPress, Restrict Content Pro, MemberMouse, Paid Memberships Pro and many more.
11. Sell Merchandise and Physical Products (eCommerce)
Adding an eCommerce store to your blog is pretty easy, and can be done using a plugin such as WooCommerce or payment gateways such as SendOwl for E-products.
You can set these stores up to sell your own physical products, or digital products that are relevant to your audience and can be a great way to generate a bit of extra cash.
It’s also a great way of supporting products you are selling on Amazon or Ebay
12. Sell Templates
Providing high quality templates for topics relevant to your audience can be of great value to your readers.
Many people will use templates as lead magnets or gaining email subscribers, but it’s also possible to sell templates on your website too.
These can range from branding kits for your websites, social media image templates, workout plans, meal plans, study plans, budgets, etc.
If your templates can save people time, it has the potential to earn you money.
Setting up a shop for selling templates is super simple with payment gateways like SendOwl. This is the method that we use for selling Pinterest Templates on our own website.
13. Host Webinars
Webinars are often used as ‘lead magnets’, or a way of generating leads.
But it’s also possible to host paid webinars.
This might seem a bit strange, but it’s much the same as paying to attend a local seminar that’s teaching you about a topic that is beneficial to you.
Keep in mind that because there are loads and loads of webinars happening all the time and often for free (lead generation), you need to be offering something very special or unique in your webinar for you to actually be able to charge for it.
14. Host Sponsored Contests or Giveaways.
Bloggers sometimes approach other businesses in their niche and offer to run a campaign through your blog or social media account which will increase the awareness of their business to your followers.
The business would pay you to run this campaign to your audience.
In exchange you would receive increased brand awareness or leads.
15. Private Bootcamps
Bloggers sometimes host private boot camps. These can work in pretty much any niche that is designed to help your readers get from Point A to Point B in a structured and motivating space.
Whether it be 30 day weight loss, or 90 day Video Challenge, 60 Day Social Media Marketing Bootcamp, Launch Your Website Bootcamp, First Amazon Product Launch, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s relevant to your blog.
People love the motivation of a well structured short-term challenge which is designed to help them move on their goals quicker.
16. Create A Private Community
Some bloggers make their money by creating an entire community of loyal followers on their blog or through a group they’ve created on Facebook.
There are plugins for your WordPress like bbPress, Buddypress, WP Symposium Pro among others that can allow you to host the community or group on your website.
Like webinars, there are so many free private groups and communities around now. If your intention is to charge a membership for your community/group, you need to make sure that you’re providing some serious value that justifies your ongoing fees for staying a member.
17. Writing E-Books.
This is such a creative and smart way to make money blogging.
Bloggers who have an in-depth knowledge in their niche, and have already created a lot of content around the topic, can re-purpose their blog content into a well-constructed eBook.
They can then go on to either sell this on their own platform, or through other platforms like Amazon, Google Play and a number of other platforms.
And although this sounds like it would be a LOT of work to do, tools like Designrr make it super dooper easy.
You can literally just post your URL strings your YouTube URLs into the program and it will reformat it into an eBook.
A bit of tweaking here and there and you’re done.
E-Books are a great way for bloggers to make their money because there’s no cost of actually printing and storing the books as you would have with physical books.
You can sell eBooks anywhere from $1-2 to $50 depending on the size and the quality of the information you have in it, and the market that you’re offering it to.
If some books only sell for $1-2, how do bloggers make their money from such small sales?
Typically, books that sell for such a small amount lead into another source of income which produces a bigger profit. For example, it may lead the reader into a course, a membership or a mentorship of some sort.
Alternatively these small value sales (also known as trip wires) also help generate leads for their business.
18. Site Sponsorship
Some advertisers want more than just a sponsored post on your website.
They prefer to have complete control over who can and cannot promote on your a particular website.
Because of this, they will pay the owner of a blog a fee to have exclusive promotion rights through banner ads, pop-ups, footers, headers, and possibly even special pages.
They’re essentially creating a non-compete by paying for ad space on the entire website.
19. Job Board
Some bloggers will even host job boards on their site.
You might be wondering ‘how do bloggers make their money from a job board?’
Once a blogger has established a platform, they can then choose to charge a recurring fee for people to list either their services as freelancers on your page, or jobs that they need freelancers for.
This income model requires very little work on your behalf to maintain and can bring in some solid earnings if your website is getting enough traffic to warrant your fees for a listing.
20. Writing Tutorials
Bloggers will write tutorials of how to use certain products or software. They profit from this by promoting the sales of products that they recommend (affiliate marketing), or products of their own.
This helps their readers get the most out of the product, and also increases traffic and sales from your website.
Some companies may also approach bloggers for sponsored tutorial posts. Although it’s always best practice to make it clear to readers that the post was paid for by someone else.
21. Taking Their Expertise Offline
Gaining a large following in your niche and becoming an expert in your field sets you up to be a guest speaker at certain events. These can often come with a pretty decent speaking fee or presenting fee.
Bloggers can even be able to pick up gigs with local councils or industry boards to help educate locals and get paid through initiatives or funding.
22. In-Content Affiliate Links
If your blog is getting plenty of site visits and plenty of readers but you aren’t using the power of affiliate links, you really are missing out.
Why not join affiliate programs for relevant products or services and include these links in old blog posts that are already doing well (considering you already mention the product/service in your blog).
This is one of the simplest and least intrusive ways to make money blogging and leveraging the work you’ve already done.
If you want to learn more about how affiliate marketing works and how you can leverage this business model in your blog, register here for these free online business workshops.
23. Product Reviews
Bloggers will sometimes reach out to other business that are relevant to their niche and offer to do a product review for them for a fee (or for a complimentary product/service).
If you decide to do this, it’s important to make it clear that you are not trying to bribe them.
The review you should write should be completely honest and you should NEVER guarantee that it’s a positive review.
This can be helpful for you even if you just simply want to try new products without having to pay for them.
You may not always make money blogging using product reviews, but it might mean you get access to free stuff, and it also gives you exposure.
24. Dropshipping Products
Dropshipping allows bloggers to make their money by selling physical products from their website without ever having to order them, ahndle them or ship them. It gives bloggers the ability to expand their product listings without the overheads.
Bloggers can enjoy a level of lifestyle freedom using drop-shipping because they do not have the restrictions of having to fulfill their own orders.
25. Create A Resource Page
This is a page that I think every blog should have.
A page that tells your readers or your audience all the products, services and tools that you personally use and recommend.
If someone loves your blog and agrees with what you write, having this list made available to them saves them having to ask you for your recommendation.
Having an affiliate link attached to these recommendations allows bloggers to make money.
Be sure to only include products, services or tools that you honestly find valuable and/or you have personally used.
So… How do bloggers make their money?
I’m sure by now you realise the opportunities to create income through blogging are nearly endless.
On top of the 25 different ways that bloggers I mentioned in this post, it’s also common practice (and a really good idea), for bloggers to build their email list.
Email lists have been shown to provide bloggers with an enormous return on investment as it gives you more opportunity to build trust with their audience and provide them with numerous offers over time.
Now that you have a clear idea of how bloggers make their money, it’s time to start your own blog!
If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save this pin to your ‘Blogging tips’ or ‘make money online’ board on Pinterest.