How To Make Money Blogging: Your Guide To Making Extra Cash

Young female blogger working at home.
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Blogging is a way you could make money anywhere, but you might not be sure how to get started. Making money through blogging takes a plan, just like starting a business. Developing an interesting blog niche, monetizing your site to make profits and strategizing to continuously build an audience are ways to start today.

How Much Money Can Beginner Bloggers Make?

The earning potential for blogging is essentially unlimited. Successful bloggers that have created a solid foundation of followers can generate tens of thousands of dollars a month, while new bloggers typically range anywhere from $500 to $2,500 a month. As you learn the tricks and trades of how to make money blogging, this number can grow exponentially.

When thinking about how to make money blogging when you’re first getting going, approach it like you would starting a business. Estimate how long you can afford to blog without profiting. Like any new business, there’s a startup period in the red that must be expected. For many, it only takes about six months to start seeing a profit from blogging.

How To Make Money Blogging

Once you get your blog set up, adding elements to monetize is essential to earning money. Think of your blog profits as coming from two distinct revenue streams: content you create and content other people create.

You get paid for content that you create when you sell downloadables, teach courses or offer memberships to more exclusive content. You get paid for other people’s content when you host ads or post affiliate links. Here are 12 ways to monetize your content:

  1. Choose profitable niche content
  2. Downloadables
  3. Online courses
  4. Premium content
  5. Hosting ads
  6. Sponsored content
  7. Affiliate programs and marketing
  8. Search engine optimization
  9. Social media strategy
  10. Selling products
  11. Email marketing
  12. Offer paid subscriptions
Make Your Money Work Better for You

1. Choose Profitable Niche Content

Profitable content equals great content when it comes to blog posts. What you write about should be something that you are both passionate about and knowledgeable about. Once you land on that overarching theme, then finetune it to topics people will want to search for and read up on. When figuring out your niche, consider these variables:

  • Your interests
  • Your audience
  • Profitable topics

2. Downloadables

One of the best ways for bloggers to make money is to offer downloadable content. This can be a variety of items, but each should have an affordable price tag so that your audience is willing to pay for these extras outside of the blog.

You could start by offering free downloadables. This is not a “something for nothing” strategy, because you can build a contact list with it. Simply restrict the download to be available only after the user enters their contact information. List-building is valuable to digital content creators. 

3. Online Courses

Online courses vary in profits, but some courses have brought in millions. You should establish your blog and social media following before investing heavily in creating a course. Otherwise, you will be offering your content without enough potential students to make you a profit.

Creating a regular posting schedule is essential. It lets your readers know what to expect from you. By tracking your site’s analytics, you can find the best time to post on your blog and any social media to get the most attention and traffic.

4. Premium Content

You can also produce premium content that your readers subscribe to. This could be content that gets an earlier release for subscribers or special video content.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

By integrating a membership subscription, you open a new channel of income for your established readers. Adding membership service software to your blog elevates this premium content for paying subscribers.

5. Hosting Ads

One of the best ways for bloggers to make money is to host or sell ads on their monetized blogs. These may appear on sidebars, as banners or between paragraphs of their articles. Many bloggers start by hosting pay-per-click ads such as Google AdSense to incorporate relevant ads into their blogs.

6. Sponsored Content

Getting sponsorships through sponsored posts on your blog content is an excellent way to get paid. For a sponsorship, a brand will pay you to promote its product on your blog. The way you promote it could vary, although the brand will likely ask you to endorse it so your readers will be interested in the product.

7. Affiliate Programs and Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when brands send you affiliate links to place in your blogs that direct readers to their products. For instance, in a gardening blog, a seed company may send you affiliate links for your next article about planting.

Each time a reader clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission.

8. Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the applied strategy of making your blog “findable” by search engines and potential readers looking for content like yours. Most blog platforms have some built-in SEO tools, but you can also work with SEO professionals to integrate ranking keywords throughout your blog and show up higher in search results.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

9. Social Media Strategy

Interacting with readers on social media is both fun and strategic, driving more traffic to your blog. Especially when you start, it’s important to spread your blog on social media to catch a wide net of readers. The more followers you get, the more potential for ad revenue and social media marketing.

10. Selling Products

When you sell physical products directly through your blog, it can create an instant revenue stream. For example, someone who runs a blog on how to cook Italian food could sell a digital cookbook. You can also sell physical merchandise associated with your blog, such as printables, t-shirts, hats or stickers.

11. Email Marketing

Email marketing allows you direct access to your readers’ inboxes. Collect emails when you offer content like downloadables and get consent to contact your readers. Use this contact information later to send out newsletters, promotions, coupons and more.

12. Offer Paid Subscriptions

Once you have a loyal following, you can offer them the option for a paid subscription plan that will give them access to exclusive content. Though most of your content should remain free, you can offer sneak peeks of exclusive pieces and then prompt them to subscribe if they wish to continue reading.

Average Start-Up Costs

When making a plan to monetize your blog, don’t forget to also factor in startup costs. This includes hosting, domain registration and opportunity costs of putting in currently unpaid work. You do need to pay for hosting to be able to monetize your blog, as free blogs may not offer integrated ads.

If you are tech-savvy, it will cost less, but if you need to hire experts to build your site or create content, your costs will increase. Estimate around $60 in start-up costs for a completely DIY blog, between paying for a domain name and web hosting. If you decide to have professionals handle any part of your blog, though, expect costs to rise quickly.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Final Take: Essential Tips for Making Money Blogging

The most essential tip for how to start a blog and make money is to treat it like a business. Make a plan, have a marketing strategy and secure several potential income channels.

When you combine excellent content with high-volume traffic that attracts advertisers, you can grow a profitable blog over time and make money anywhere. Blog about something you are already passionate about to create a profitable, engaging blog.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about making money as a blogger.
  • How do beginner bloggers make money?
    • One way for a beginner blogger to make money is to incorporate ads into their blog. You could also offer merchandise and downloadable content, though that may not make much money until you have a larger following.
    • Though the earning potential for blogging is essentially unlimited, on average new bloggers typically range anywhere from $500 to $2,500 a month. Depending on how quickly you grow your blog, this can be a good side hustle or full-time career.
  • How do I start a blog with no money?
    • Estimate around $60 in start-up costs for a completely DIY blog, between paying for a domain name and web hosting. If you decide to have professionals, like a web designer, handle any part of your blog, though, expect costs to rise quickly.
  • What kind of blogs make money?
    • The amount of money a blog makes varies depending on many factors, such as the size of the audience, affiliate programs or other ad revenue, but common profitable blogs cover topics such as the following:
    • Business
    • Finance
    • Health
    • Fashion
    • DIY
    • Arts and crafts
    • Food
    • Nutrition
    • Lifestyle
    • Marketing

Emily Cahill contributed to the reporting for this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.


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