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There are about a million and twelve blog posts out there about how to make money online. Some of the strategies are actually worth a try and can help you bring in some side income. Others are, well, a little less legitimate and a little less desirable. (I mean, no one wants to fill out 1,000 surveys a day to nab a $50 paycheck.)

But some can help you create an entire business with scalable growth and a full time income. Those are the ones we want to focus on. And they start with a blog.

Not everyone jumps into the online world with the intention of making money from a blog, while others start a blog with the explicit intent of turning it into a business. Regardless, we can all agree on the fact that making some side cash by blogging about something we’re passionate about sounds like a pretty sweet gig, eh?

We don’t want to go through any of those slimy methods like the aforementioned online surveys, conducting web searches, and reviewing apps and websites.

We’re talking about real, serious, legitimate ways to create a business and make money doing something you’re actually passionate about. Whether you have established your blog already and are ready to get started bringing in an income or are just getting started, we’re going to go over 9 proven ways pro bloggers are making money right now from their blogs and businesses.

A blue graphic with an overlay text saying how bloggers make money online

And, because I don’t want to stop there, I also have this epic blog business plan to help you turn your blog into a rockstar business. Click the graphic below to download it—but I recommend waiting until after reading through this whole blog post to fill it out. 😉

Graphic for a free workbook on how to create a blog business plan

Check out the episode below:

So there’s just one question left: are you ready to start making money from your blog?

GIF of a woman saying, "let's do this", for an article about making money from a blog

1. Place ads on your blog.

This is one of the first ways a lot of bloggers will get started generating a small income. When you first start out, your income from ads will likely be extremely low, but as your blog traffic grows, so will your ad revenue.

There are a couple of different ways to go about putting ads on your blog:

1. Selling ad space.

Create a page on your blog for advertising queries and include pricing and placement information. Think about where you want to sell ads. Within your blog posts? In your sidebar? In your website’s header or footer?

Placement and size will affect the price point of each ad, and your ad cost will be dependent on how many monthly visitors your blog receives, or the potential reach for your advertiser. Essentially, you’ll be paid monthly for a business to place an ad on your website, regardless or ad clicks or performance.

2. Joining an ad network.

There are tons of available ad networks out there that companies partner with to put ads on various websites. One of the most popular ones is Google AdSense, and a lot of bloggers work with this network. You also have the option of shopping around and finding an ad network that partners with bloggers in your specific niche.

These ads tend to pay per click, so you’ll receive a few dollars or cents each time someone clicks on the ad on your website. The more traffic you have, the more likely it is to get clicks.

2. Write sponsored blog content.

As your blog grows in popularity, it’s likely that you’ll have some businesses reach out to you as a part of their influencer marketing strategy, asking if you’d be interested in writing a blog post about their product or service.

It can be really tempting to just accept everything and write all of the sponsored posts, but there are a couple of things you want to keep in mind.

1. These companies are reaching out to a lot of bloggers in your niche, and if your audience reads multiple blogs, they could see multiple reviews. This is very similar to ad fatigue, in that readers become annoyed with seeing the same promotion all over their favorite blogs. This isn’t to say you should never write a sponsored post—I’m just saying you should be selective.

2. Which brings us to number two. Only accept sponsored post opportunities for products or services that you truly believe in. Don’t just do it for the money. Do it because you genuinely want to help your audience find a great product or service.

Sharing sponsored content can be a great way to generate some income from your blog, and the bigger your blog is, the more you can charge. Think of the Kardashians and the millions of dollars they get for simply mentioning a business on their Instagram.

3. Get started with affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is when you receive a small commission for selling a product or service for a business. And it’s so incredibly easy to make money with this through your blog.

Think about it: have you ever mentioned a business, a product, or a service in passing on your blog before? If it was relevant to something you were talking about, or is a business you’re passionate about, chances are you probably have.

And what if you could make a bit of money just from that mention?

GIF of a minion saying, "WHAAAT?" when he realizes you can make money from a blog

Totally. Serious.

Just check to see if that business has an affiliate program that you can apply for so that you can share their affiliate link. If someone clicks your link to go to their website and makes a purchase, you’ll get a percentage of that purchase!

Be careful, though: the FTC is incredibly stingy about disclaimers. You want to make sure you always let your audience know when you’re sharing an affiliate link with a quick “If you buy through this link, my blog/business receives a small portion of your purchase!” or other quick disclaimer.

And don’t join too many affiliate programs and start throwing affiliate links everywhere just because you feel like you could make more money that way. Big mistake. Instead, choose only the ones that actually relate to your blog or business and link to them when necessary.

4. Selling services.

So you’ve already gone through the basic revenue streams for beginner bloggers. You’re ready to get serious about your blogging income. One of the first great ways pro bloggers start to turn their blog into a business is by offering some sort of service.

Of course, what this looks like will vary niche to niche. Do you have any special skills that are relevant to your niche? Can you provide a service that your reader might not have the skills or the time to do themselves?

This could be anything from website design, to copywriting, to personal training (yes, you can totally do this virtually—or you can get started locally), to styling, and so much more.

Think about what you have to offer your readers and start building your services based on that.

5. Creating and selling products.

Don’t have the time, bandwidth, or desire to provide services? Eh, it’s not for everybody, and it’s also not the most scalable opportunity. You only have so much time to do your client work, and once that time is used up, you’ve reached your cap until/unless you start hiring employees.

It’s so much easier to create and sell products!

There are two different routes you can take this: physical products and digital products.

Physical products are actual objects that you create and sell. This could be a crocheted hat, a mug, a t-shirt, etc.

Digital products are created on the computer and sent to the buyer over the internet. This could be an eBook, a print, an online course, etc.

Not quite sure what you could sell? Check out Etsy, scroll through a few small business hashtags on Instagram, or peruse Pinterest to see if anything catches your eye that you know you can create. Don’t worry if there seem to be a million competitors. There are enough consumers in the world for everyone, and you still have a place.

Graphic for a free workbook on how to create a blog business plan

6. Offer one-on-one coaching sessions.

So many pro bloggers get their start in their new blogging business by offering coaching sessions. This is because becoming a successful blogger and actually making an income for yourself through this online business is a huge deal. A lot of people want to be able to make that happen for themselves.

One thing I preach here is creating a business that helps you find purpose, profit, and freedom throughout every aspect of your life.

And creating an online business does that.

So if you’ve figured out the secret yourself, coach someone else on how to do it! Don’t want to blog about blogging? There are so many other types of coaches out there. Life coaches, mom coaches, fitness coaches, nutrition coaches. Find your niche and become a coach. Motivate people. Teach them. Help them become something better.

7. Creating and selling an online course.

This is one of the most scalable options out of all of these. Online courses can bring in an unlimited number of students at a premium price point, so I highly recommend including an online course in your blog business plan.

In fact, I’ll never forget the first time I created an online course. Of course it was completely littered with rookie mistakes (as most first-time things are), and I made the fatal mistake of not doing the proper foundation work (I’ll touch on that in just a second).

Creating an online course can be crazy overwhelming. I remember freezing when I was simply outlining my course modules—thank goodness I had someone on my team to help thaw me out!

Now why am I sharing this with you? Well, because I want you to know being vulnerable with your audience is important. It proves you have the confidence to stand as an authority figure, and take all those sling shots and arrow shots at you.

It enables others to face their own fears and tackle the challenges to come that would normally be overwhelming. Just that little bit of heads up was what got me through to the finish line and successfully selling my finished course to my students.

Now, back to that fatal mistake I’m sure you’re dying to hear more about. In order to avoid making one of your own, ask yourself these questions.

Go back to your target audience, that one specific customer you created inside your customer avatar. I want you to ask yourself these two things:

1. Does your customer have money to spend?
2. If your customer does have money, are they willing to spend it?

In my initial launch of my Create Rockstar Blogs course, where I taught students how to create and monetize their blog, I had specifically targeted stay-at-home moms. But a majority of that target audience simply doesn’t have $500 or $1,000 dollars to spend on a course. They’re protecting their pocket book by being wise and cutting coupons.

It just wasn’t realistic.

So you need to make sure the audience you’re targeting has money; and if they have money, make sure they're willing to spend it.

You can create a course about nearly anything in your niche. You can start small (like a $97 mini course) and go more and more in-depth ($497 and $997 courses).

Do you have a skill you can share? Perhaps you could create a course about hand lettering, embroidering, or cooking. Teach people how to done something you’ve done, like growing your email list or starting a personal training business.

Creating an online course is incredibly time consuming. Because of the high price point you can sell it at, you want to make sure it’s jam-packed with valuable information. When taking a look at your year overall, consider leaving an entire quarter open for course creation and promotion.

8. Creating a membership or subscription program.

Do you know what one of the best things about a membership or subscription program is? Once you have a customer, that customer keeps paying you monthly until they cancel your subscription. So even if you have a subscription program that costs $10/month, that can seriously add up. If you get 50 members, that’s $500/month of income from your blog.

And if you promote your subscription program like it’s your core product and get hundreds of members, you can create a full time income just off this one revenue stream.

I’ve seen a lot of different ways to create a subscription program. You could create a membership portal filled with informational content that users can’t find on your blog. You could create a paid-only Facebook group where you dedicate a lot of your time to Q&As and Facebook Live training sessions. You could create a personal training subscription program for customers to get dedicated workout plans each month they subscribe.

There are so many creative ways to do this for all different types of businesses, and they’re a seriously awesome form of passive income. These can range anywhere from $10/month to $2,000/month depending on how valuable the content or training you’re including in the program is.

9. Selling exclusive access.

Do you have a resource library where you keep all sorts of content upgrades and other training materials? You always have the option of using that as your lead magnet to grow your email list.

But why not make it even more valuable with video training and other content, then sell exclusive access to your audience?

Depending on all of the content you decide to house in your VIP access area, you could charge anywhere from $10 to $1,000+ for access. In fact, you could also create levels: one gets access to all of your content upgrades in one area in exchange for an email address, the next level gets exclusive video training for $25, the next level gets your low-dollar content for $150, and the VIP level gets every single thing you’ve ever created, courses included, for $1,000.

(Prices, of course, can be changed to fit the price points of your own content.)

This is a great way to allow people to purchase multiple things from you at once and get an awesome discount.

So are you ready to get out there and start making money off a blog? I’ve wrapped up these 9 proven money-making strategies for you in a nice little gift box with a big gold bow, and it’s time for you to unwrap them and determine which will make the most sense for you.

Best way to do that? Within your blog business plan! I mentioned this at the beginning, but in case you were just so excited to learn how to make money with your blog and dove right into the content, here it is again.

Graphic for a free workbook on how to create a blog business plan

There’s also an entire section in there on your monetization strategy to help you figure out the best strategies for yourself and your blog. 💸



These are the EXACT same steps I used to 10x businesses just like yours and generate new customers on autopilot!

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!