The 4 Ways to Make Money Blogging: Turning Readers Into Dollars

blogging Feb 21, 2020

Want to know how bloggers make money? 

Looking for some creative ways to add new revenue to your blog? 

In today’s digital world, having internet traffic is like having a river of gold in your backyard, but having an audience doesn’t mean you make money. You still have to monetize it. 

We researched the different ways bloggers are monetizing their audience, and broke it up into 4 classes:

  1. Advertising
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Ecommerce
  4. Services 

Let’s dive deeper into these classes and learn how to make money online.

What is a blog?

Blogs have been used for many purposes over the years: online journaling, informational purposes, a platform for sharing thoughts and ideas, and so on. For business, it’s a powerful way to connect with your customers and attract more. 

A Blog’s Relationship To a Business

In business, a blog is really just a feature of a website used for ongoing content creation. Unlike most sections of a website, a blog has new content published on it actively. 

A great blog gives you and your brand expertise and credibility, drives new visitors to your website, and ultimately converts visitors into customers. 

When someone says they have a blog, they really have a business like any other online business, but their business model revolves around their blog. 

How Do Blogs Get Traffic?

A blog can get traffic a few different ways. 

Social Media

For a lot of people, social media is a huge part of their blog. They grow their social media accounts and rely on them to drive traffic to their website. 

There’s a lot of social networks out there. So do your homework to find out which one fits your business best. 

Here’s a brief showcase of a few popular channels.

  • Facebook - Facebook is the largest social media platform out there and is used by all sorts of people around the world. Although there is success to be had on Facebook, there have been a lot of reports of business page engagement for the past couple of years. Making this an unappealing platform for organic marketers.

  • LinkedIn - from a job-hunting site, LinkedIn has blossomed into a professional social media platform where many experts gather and share information on each of their respective industries. B2B content creators thrive on this channel.

  • Instagram - Does your business revolve around visually stunning content and do they often appeal to the younger generation? Then IG is the perfect platform for you. Here’s our definitive guide to help you grow your IG.

Search Traffic

Search Traffic is a popular way to drive traffic to a blog. In this case, bloggers plan their content based on search traffic data from Google, with a goal of coming up as a result when someone searches a specific keyword.

If you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on paid traffic, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a great long term strategy with proven results.

How Do You Monetize Blog Traffic?

There are 4 revenue models you can use to turn readers into buyers.

  1. Advertising - You get paid for reserving a space in your blog for advertisers to promote their products to your readers.
  2. Affiliate Marketing - You recommend someone else’s product or service on your blog and when a reader makes a purchase from your recommendation, you get a commission.
  3. E-commerce - You market your own product, whether it’s a physical product or a digital one.
  4. Services - If you’re an expert on a certain niche, you can start offering your skills and knowledge as a service, such as consulting, coaching, or freelancing

Now let’s dig deep on each of these classes and see what monetization strategy works best for you! 


If your blog gets thousands of visitors, a lot of companies will pay good money for an ad on your blog.

Ad Networks (Or, more commonly, Google AdSense)

Google AdSense is a great way to start. With AdSense, you don’t need to do any of the backend work yourself. Instead, Google sells your ad space for you. 

To start selling ad space on your website with Adsense, you need to go through their qualification process. Here are some quick tips from Google:

  1. Write unique, high-quality content
  2. Optimize your blog for easy navigation and make it mobile-friendly.
  3. Comply to all Google AdSense Policy
  4. Lastly, keep pumping content. 

After you’re approved you install the AdSense code in your site, then the AdSense spiders crawl your website to get familiar with your content.

Here is a simple three-step breakdown of how AdSense works, from AdSense.

Private Advertising

Private advertising means you are selling and managing your own ad space. This way of advertising gives you more control of the ads' appearance on your page and more liberty to set your own rate. If your blog has reached a high amount of traffic, it’s worthwhile to work with private advertisers.

Sponsored Content

 A sponsored post is when a company pays you to mention their business, product, or service in your blog, email list, social media, or any other channel. This type of advertising is also considered private advertising. In this case, the advertisement is embedded in the content. Kind of like seeing a Ford in a movie. Ford pays for those spots.

Affiliate Marketing

 Affiliate marketing is when you recommend other businesses’ products or services on your blog and get a commission if your recommendation turns into a sale

With affiliate marketing, you have a special affiliate link from the seller. When your reader clicks through that link and buys something, you get a commission. 

This type of monetization is highly appealing because you don’t need to manage a retail store to earn money. 

All you have to do is get affiliate links for the products you love and recommend, and start sharing them in your content. 

How To Find Affiliate Products

Did you catch the first hint? It’s recommending products you’ve used before! Think back and round-up all the products you love, and search for their affiliate program. 

If you blog about video games, write about the top games you’ve played before, the top gears, and rigs you’ve used before. If you’re a travel blogger then a camera is a must-have, so write about the best cameras for traveling. 

Let’s say we're travel bloggers for a second and let’s say we get all your gear from We can try out a simple google search and...


There you have it. Now, let’s check out their program.

Adorama has a list of all the program details.

Note: Physical product commissions tend to range from 3-5% commission, and digital products like software, or courses from 10-30%. 

Consider thinking about what products you can find to help your readers the most. What are they interested in buying? Talk to your readers, ask about their pain points. Then present them with the products that solve their problem, while collecting your commission.

Affiliate Networks

If you’re not sure what you can offer, you might want to check out some affiliate networks.  With an affiliate network, you gain access to a marketplace where publishers meet products, this allows you to filter through tons of affiliate offers available to you.

Here are a few affiliate networks to get you started:

Amazon Associates


CJ Affiliate


Rakuten Marketing

Ultimate Bundles 

Client Services

Creating a consulting/coaching program.

The Joker said, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free!”. Instead, turn your expertise into a deliverable product. 

If you’re a fitness blogger, create a coaching program. If you’re a coding savant who blogs, offer a consulting or training service.

In this case, you just turn your blog into a lead generation platform. Close them on a sales call and BOOM! You have a paying client.

This is a great way to add some high ticket products to the mix. In a lot of cases, these services will be $2,000 to $5,000 a month.


To make things simple, we’re defining Ecommerce as any transaction that happens on your own website. Whereas, affiliate marketing and advertising, send your readers to a checkout page on someone else's website.

Creating Digital Products

If you have the burning passion to create your own product, digital products are an amazing way of sharing your knowledge, expertise, and skills all around the globe. There’s no inventory, shipping or manufacturing, you can literally run your business sitting on the couch. 

What sort of digital content can you sell, you ask? Well, here are a few ideas to get your neurons firing:


Audio Content


Online Tutorials





Create Digital Products Easily With Kajabi

Should you choose to create your own digital products, Kajabi is the best platform for businesses that sell digital products.


With 25,000+ businesses under their wing, they helped their customers make over a billion dollars in their 9 years of serving.

Kajabi is an all-in-one online business platform. They make it extremely easy to do things like:

  • Build Digital Products so you don’t have to deal with any tech issues, which means no more pulling your hair out.

  • Create Pipelines and Marketing Funnels so you can pull off the same marketing as the million-dollar companies, which means you have the marketing power to get your business off the ground.

  • Build an Online Community so you can keep your readers engaged with your brand. In other words, every product you launch will be a hit.


Dropshipping is an ecommerce model where you never actually purchase any inventory. A lot of aspiring business owners are enticed with this kind of model. 

You list a manufacturer's products on your website, and when your customer purchases it, the manufacturer will send it straight to your customer's door.  So the product never touches your hands.

This also means you don't have to buy wholesale products in bulk. Making it a cheap way to get started.

For example, your supplier or manufacturer might sell a product to you for $50. You would take that product, and sell it on your website as your own for $75.

When you get a customer for $75, you send your customers information along with $50 to your supplier, and pocket the rest.

Finding Products To Dropship

In this section, you’ll find more evidence that it pays to be part of a group. Facebook, for instance, has a group for everybody. You can bet that there’s one for Dropshipping experts too! Here are some groups you could check out:

Product Research Lab

Dropshipping Guide


In addition to Facebook groups, there are forums and tools to help you find the right products, like: 

Google Trends - Google Trends is a very powerful tool that shows you keywords, or products that’s been getting a lot of traffic from people. From there you can analyze products that you can sell. 

AliExpress & Amazon - These are the 2 giants when it comes to online shopping. Fortunately, they’re kind enough to provide people with the hottest and best-selling products. From there you can see what people are buying. 

A word of caution, since all this information is available to everyone, many competitors are looking to dropship that same ‘bestseller’ product. Now, you can compete with them, or you can search for an alternative product that’s on par with the best seller and dropship that. 

White Labeling

Become a reseller of products, software, or services.

White labeling is when you become a reseller for a manufacturer who sells generic products to many retailers.

You order a brandless product, you stick your brand on that product, then you sell it to customers. You can do this for a wide range of products, from physical to digital, even services. 

But how does this help your blog? Let's check out a few ideas.

White Label Software

A white label company builds software and instead of building a brand and a marketing team, they get brands to pay them to sell the software with their branding as if it was their own. 

White Label Service

You’ll need a ghostwriting company that has the manpower and expertise to write for your clients. A white label agency will deliver services to your clients on your behalf. With your branding and everything.

White Label Products

Let’s say your business is all about trendy smartphone accessories. You can place an order to a white label manufacturer for generic smartphone cases, holders, stands or whatever— rebranded to sell to your readers.

Business owners use white labeling to expand their market and add new income streams to their pipeline. Now that you get the idea, is white labeling something that would suit your business blog?

Private Labeling

Developing your own product

White labeling and private labeling are almost the same, the process is similar to the infographics you saw above, although, one key difference between the two is with private labeling, the retailer (this would be you) would customize the product in a unique way.

With white labeling, you only have control over the brand of the product, so you will have competitors selling the exact same product.

With private labeling, you're customizing the product's design. 

Let's say you want to develop your own version for a popular product for your subscribers. Private labeling will allow you to have your own 100% unique product.

So which monetization method would you try first?

Have you decided which strategy would suit your blog best? We'd love to share more tips, how-tos, and strategies with you. Sign up for more exclusive content!

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