How do freebie websites make money
14 Ways To Make Money From Your Blog (That Work, Too)
When I tell someone that I'm a blogger, 90% of the time, the question comes up: "And can you make money with that?"
And I confess that this question still amazes me (at least for a moment). It has become a matter of course for me that this is possible!
Being a “blogger” or “influencer” has developed from a hobby into a serious profession in the last few years. And blogging becomes a serious business model. It is not for nothing that there are more and more bloggers who earn extra income with their blog or even live off it completely.
Below, I'll show you 14 ways you can make money blogging. With tips, examples and their advantages and disadvantages.
1. Google AdSense
One of the easiest ways to make money from your blog is with Google AdSense.
It works as follows: You embed a snippet of code in your blog (e.g. in a widget in the sidebar). An advertisement will then be placed at this point. If a visitor clicks on one of the ads, you get money (usually between € 0.10 and € 0.80 per click, in some cases more).
Google offers over a dozen different ad sizes (including ads that adjust to fit the screen), so there should be the right size for every blog.
We ourselves currently earn between € 600 and € 700 per month with it. But I know some bloggers who even earn four-digit amounts a month with it. However, this usually requires a very high number of page views (at least 200,000, if not more) and a large number of advertisements on the blog.
- Easy to integrate
- Responsive ads for mobile devices
- Ads automatically adapt to the interests of your readers
- Monthly payment of income
- Comprehensive statistics to optimize user action
- In order for something to get around, you usually need a high number of visitors
- Worsens the loading time
- Often blocked by ad blockers and increasingly ignored by readers
- Must be mentioned in the data protection declaration and requires a cookie notice to be displayed
2. Market advertising banners directly
As an alternative to Google AdSense, you can also sell banner ad spaces on your blog yourself (so-called “direct marketing”). If you've found a permanent advertising partner, that can be more bearable than Google AdSense or other display networks.
Billing can be done in different ways, such as: B. per click, per view or against a monthly or annual fixed amount.
That this can work very well is shown e.g. For example, the TagSeoBlog by Martin Missfeldt, who earns around € 600 a month from renting advertising banners.
- Sometimes higher income than with Google AdSense possible
- Usually not recognized by ad blockers
- Does not have to be mentioned in the data protection declaration and does not require the display of a cookie notice
- Little impact on loading time (for image-only ads)
- You have to find a suitable advertising partner yourself
- Is not tailored so well to the interests of your visitors
- Classic banner advertising is increasingly being ignored by visitors
If you don't want to take care of the marketing of your banner spaces yourself, you can also hire a marketer who will look for suitable customers for you.
Of course, the marketer would like to have some of the cake for this, but it can still be worthwhile for you. Firstly, the marketer usually has a lot of experience in customer acquisition, in negotiating prices and an existing customer base.
In addition to banner spaces, many marketers also convey sponsored posts, so they can also relieve you of work in the field.
- Sometimes higher income than with Google AdSense or with direct marketing possible
- They also often convey sponsored posts
- You have more time for your blog
- The marketer wants some of the cake
- Contracts are often exclusive, which means that when it comes to advertising, you are completely tied to the marketer and the customers they refer
4. Affiliate Programs
Affiliate programs are also a great way to make money from your blog. The principle is very simple: you include an affiliate link in your blog. If a visitor clicks on this link and orders something on the linked website (e.g. from an online shop) or registers for something (e.g. a newsletter or a competition), you will receive or Registration a commission.
The amount of the commission depends on the product area. For electronics you get z. B. often only between 1 and 4% commission, since the margins there are quite low. For digital products such as B. software, e-books or similar, you can get 30% - 60% commission. Affiliate programs in the financial sector also grant high commissions.
Probably the most popular and well-known affiliate program among bloggers and website owners is the Amazon affiliate program. It is also well suited for beginners, as it is very easy to incorporate partner links into your own blog. Amazon also offers products from pretty much every area. Unfortunately, the commissions are comparatively low and the cookie runtime of one day is not particularly long.
If you are interested in higher commissions and want to promote merchants other than Amazon on your blog, the easiest way is to sign up for an affiliate network. Affiliate networks combine hundreds or even thousands of partner programs from online shops and service providers under one roof.
The largest affiliate networks for the German market are AWIN and affilinet. There you will find pretty much everything your heart desires. Other recommended networks are e.g. belboon, Superclix, ADCELL, financeAds, CJ Affiliate, Webgains or Digistore24.
Many advertisers also have in-house affiliate programs. The commissions are usually a bit higher there because there is no affiliate network in between that gets part of the cake for the technical implementation. The partnership itself is usually closer and more personal and you can often negotiate commissions.
- Can be integrated inconspicuously into the website and do not disrupt the flow of reading
- Sometimes they enable significantly higher income than Google AdSense
- You can profit from selling products without having to do shipping or manufacturing yourself
- The tracking of sales, payments and invoicing are mostly automated
- There are a variety of affiliate programs and networks that allow for diversification of sources of income
- Must be marked as advertising
- Often require an application (not every website is included in every affiliate program)
- Brokered sales sometimes take a long time to process (a sale may take 3 months to be paid for)
- Affiliate programs may change their commissions, be paused or close completely (so you shouldn't rely on a single affiliate program)
- Especially suitable for Google or Pinterest traffic (if visitors are already interested in buying)
5. Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts (often simply referred to as “collaborations”) are blog articles, social media posts, or a combination of both that a company pays to publish. This is where the company's products or services are presented or shown.
This can be B. be an experience or test report, a competition, a casual mention or recommendation of a product or a report from an event.
How much you can earn with a sponsored post depends on e.g. B. according to the number of visitors to your blog, your follower numbers and the interaction on different social media channels or how well you fit the brand.
I know some bloggers who get over $ 3,000 for a sponsored blog article. There are hardly any upper limits.
- Quite easy money
- Depending on awareness, reach and target group of the blog, high payment for sponsored posts is possible
- Long-term cooperation possible, e.g. B. as a brand ambassador
- Usually only one payment per post
- Income cannot be planned and is irregular
- Sponsored posts must be clearly marked as such or there is a risk of warning
- The post and / or the advertised company may not perfectly match your blog
- You can't publish too many sponsored posts per month or you threaten to scare off your own readers
- Sometimes Google penalties if links are not marked with the nofollow attribute
6. Sell your own products
Selling your own products on your blog is the supreme discipline!
It can be a lot of work and sometimes high investment costs to develop, manufacture and sell your own products. In return, you can earn more money with your blog than with any of the other methods mentioned here. After all, you don't have to share your winnings with anyone. You get the whole cake, not just part of it.
That selling your own products can be worthwhile is shown by B. Ricarda Masuhr from Pech & Schwefel, who achieves five-digit monthly sales by selling patterns in PDF format.
Or Caroline Preuss, whose online course “(P) intelligent blogging” also sold well and apparently achieved sales of more than € 20,000 in 2017.
- Significantly higher income possible than with other methods
- You are independent of advertising partners
- You can better meet the needs of your visitors with your products
- You can realize yourself through your products
- You may have to deal with customer support
- Your risk of warning is higher and you have to pay more attention to legal pitfalls
- Under certain circumstances, high investments and / or a large amount of time are required for product development and manufacture
- You have to integrate an ordering system into your blog
- More effort through the dispatch of goods (easier to automate with digital products)
- More administrative and accounting work
7. Collect donations
Anyone who wants to earn money with a blog can also collect donations from their readers. This often doesn't work as the only source of income, but it can serve to earn a few euros on the side.
However, there are some bloggers who use this very successfully, such as B. Snowqueen and Danielle from The Desired Child, who collect donations through their Tipeee page. In return for a donation, you can read articles three days earlier or receive a small, exclusive newsletter.
In order to technically implement the collection of donations on the blog, there are various options and systems in addition to Tipeee, such as B. the integration of a donation button from PayPal or the micro-donation service Flattr.
- Unobtrusive way to make money blogging
- Easy integration into the blog
- You need a large and, above all, very loyal fan base
- The willingness to donate depends on the reader and the topic
- May require minimizing or completely eliminating other types of advertising
- Your readers may need to register with a fundraising agency in order to send the donations
- Your readers may only be willing to donate if they get something in return (e.g. exclusive blog articles or an e-book)
8. Guest blogging
Bloggers are currently in great demand as guest authors or even permanent editors for corporate blogs and online or offline magazines.
Not only because editorial offices always need fresh content and are always looking for new editors, but also because many bloggers also have their own fan base.
In addition, bloggers are considered authentic and usually communicate with their readers on a more personal and friendly level (keyword: reader loyalty!), Which many large editorial offices lack.
- You have the option to promote your own blog
- You can use guest blogging as a reference to become a guest author on other blogs or online magazines
- You can often link your own blog
- You are not writing any content for your own blog during that time
- You often have to cede all of the rights to your post to the online magazine or corporate blog (including images) and cannot use the content for any other purpose
9. Organize events
As a blogger, you can also make money by hosting events. For example, you can offer workshops for interested readers, which is especially popular with DIY or food bloggers.
Another option is to host events for other bloggers. Successful with this concept are z. B. Clara and Ricarda, who organize workshops, barcamps and conferences for bloggers all over Germany with their event network BLOGST.
- Very good for networking, getting to know new people and building your own brand
- A lot of organizational effort (ticket sales, premises, catering, etc.)
- Partly with high investments and thus associated with risk
- Conferences in particular are often only profitable with sponsors
10. Members area
A chargeable member area is the increase or broader form of the payment barrier. Members not only get exclusive blog articles to read, but can also access other exclusive content, such as B. videos, e-books, cheat sheets, tools, knowledge databases or similar.
Memberships often also include access to private (mastermind) groups, coaching hours or participation in webinars.
- Income is very easy to plan
- You don't have to look for advertising partners
- You don't have to send your visitors to other websites to make money from your blog
- Requires expert status and good positioning within a niche
- Responsible for technical integration of the member area
- A lot of effort to create exclusive content
- Requires regular updates so customers don't cancel their subscription
11. Coaching and advice
If, as a blogger, you are considered an expert in your niche, you can also earn a living with coaching and advice.
As with digital products, this works best in traditional consulting niches such as online marketing, business and careers, dating, fitness, finance, self-publishing or self-help. But if you can solve the problems of your readers and they are willing to pay, certainly in other areas as well.
- High hourly rates possible
- In many cases you can offer coaching and advice regardless of location, e.g. B. via Skype, WhatsApp, email or phone
- Requires expert status and good positioning within a niche
12. VG Wort
VG Wort is something like GEMA for writers, authors and publishers. It serves to compensate them for illegal copies of their texts.
For this purpose, money from the flat-rate levy (also called copyright levy) is used. B. are collected on printers and scanners, which are then paid out annually to authors and publishers.
Authors and publishers who publish their texts on the Internet, including bloggers, can also benefit from the distribution.
The payment is made for each published blog article (in 2016 it was € 20.00). To do this, however, the blog articles must reach a certain minimum number of views (1,500 views) and have a minimum character length (1,800 characters).
This can be particularly worthwhile for larger blogs with many blog articles. According to his own statements, Peer Wandinger from Self-Employed in the Net earns around € 4,000 a year.
- Simply earned money
- Especially worthwhile when there are high numbers of visitors and many blog articles
- Requires registration in the T. O. M. at VG Wort and conclusion of a management contract
- A counting mark must be assigned to each blog article (but this is quite easy using a plugin, e.g. with Prosodia VGW OS)
- Every year, a report must be made for all blog articles that reach the minimum access (for each article individually, which is quite time-consuming).
- The whole reporting and registration process is quite bureaucratic and cumbersome
13. Link sale or rent
Another source of income for bloggers is selling or renting links from their own blog. You can sell links not only from articles, but also from the sidebar, the home page or in the footer.
In the case of rent, payment is made monthly or annually, in the case of sale, once (the link is then online for an agreed period of time or forever on the blog).
Why you can earn money selling links is obvious: Companies, especially online shops, often have difficulties in getting relevant backlinks (e.g. for individual products or category pages) and therefore do not rank so well on Google. This is why selling links is an easy way for companies to push their own Google ranking.
- Very little effort
- Regular monthly earnings
- Depending on the authority and popularity of your own blog, high income is possible
- You can easily contact customers for text links via online portals such as B. Find SeedingUp
- Google may penalize the sale of dofollow links
- SEO disadvantages of page-wide linking (e.g. in the footer)
- Selling dofollow links is considered unprofessional
14. Sell blog
Are you crazy? Make money by selling your own blog ...
But yes, that can be an option. Especially if you are out of breath and you have actually wanted to start a new project for a long time (the start-up capital from blog sales can come in very handy!)
However, I would advise you not to think twice, but five times. First of all, your blog and thus your source of income will be gone for the time being. Second, you may well not get the amount of blog sales that you expect or need to start something new:
The problem with many blogs is that they are tied to one person and therefore can only be continued by someone else to a limited extent. In addition, the passive income of a blog is particularly important to buyers (e.g. income from AdSense or affiliate marketing), but many blogs almost exclusively generate active income (e.g. via sponsored posts).
- A lot of money in one fell swoop that you can use to start a new project
- Your blog is gone (and with it your regular source of income)
- You may not get back what you invested in your blog or what you imagined as sales price
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