Blogging is rewarding in its own way: the joy of writing, sharing ideas, and the satisfaction from creating something meaningful. It’s an opportunity share your thoughts and connect with others. But it can also be a great way to make dosh.
One big advantage is that you can create content and continue earning from it long after it’s been published. As your audience grows, these income streams can increase with it. While some of the most tried and test tactics are based around visitor traffic, there are certain other ways you can turn blogging passion into profit.
Blogging is more than a hobby; for some, it’s a serious income source. How much bloggers can expect to earn will vary wildly. Glassdoor currently lists the average income for professional (i.e., salaried) bloggers in the UK at £21k-48k in 2024. The most successful bloggers in the world stand to earn sizeably more — even six-figure incomes.
On the other hand, 33% of bloggers make no money at all, according to TechJury. And perhaps they’re not aiming to.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll hear it said that you can expect to earn £1 to £10 for every thousand views you get. It all depends on your topic, how engaging your content is, and exactly how you’ve decided to monetise.
The most popular monetisation tool for bloggers in 2024 is Google AdSense, followed by the popular affiliate marketing platforms. However, when it comes to those truly earning the mega bucks, AdSense only ranks third. The most successful entrepreneur bloggers (blogtrepreneurs?) are 2.5 times more likely to be selling their own product or service direct rather than selling ad space.
❝The most successful entrepreneur bloggers are 2.5 times more likely to be selling their own product or service direct rather than selling ad space.❞
Blogging is big in the world of business, too. Brands that prioritise it see 13 times more ROI than brands that don’t. According to DemandMetric, companies with active blogs generate an average of 67% more leads monthly.
Blogging is now the second most popular form of content marketing, second only to video, with 70% of consumers stating that they prefer blog posts to traditional ads. And according to ReportLinker, the content marketing industry is expected to grow by around £500 million over the next four years.
But let’s keep it real – don’t expect to start earning big money overnight. Quality of content is still the number #1 most important success factor. When you blog about something you’re passionate about, it shows. Your enthusiasm leaps off the page, engaging your audience and keeping them coming back for more. This passion is what will sustain your blog in the long run.
Whatever your reasons for getting into it, blogging is more of a marathon than a sprint. It takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work to get those views and clicks rolling in.
See also: 123Reg’s Blogging A to Z Glossary Guide. From Authors and Comments, to Widgets and WordPress, take this as your handy guide to blogging success.
Top 7 Blog Monetisation Ideas
1. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways for bloggers to earn an income. It’s all about commission from affiliate links. The idea is that you promote a product or service and earn a slice for each sale made. This method works because it allows bloggers to generate revenue by recommending products they trust and enjoy to their audience.
For instance, a tech blogger might include links for the latest gadgets they’ve reviewed. When the reader clicks on the link and makes a purchase, then the blogger earns a percentage of the sale. It’s win-win as it benefits the blogger but also helps readers find products they might be interested in.
Statistically, those with the highest returns tend to be focused on a small list of the most popular niches, the big 3 topics being food (42.8%), lifestyle (13.3%), and travel (10%), according to RankIQ data. Food bloggers make by far the highest median monthly income compared with the other major niches (and that’s not factoring in all the free cheese and biscuits from sponsors).
Depending on the platform and product category, it’s generally possible to earn around 10%-20% in commission. Some of the most well-known affiliate programs include:
You’ll also find WordPress plugins designed to help with affiliate links, with various tracking and management features. Some notable options include ThirstyAffiliates, Pretty Links, and AffiliateWP. These tools work to manage and track performance of affiliate links, potentially leading to better promotion and higher earnings.
While there’s lots of affiliate marketing options, it’s important to keep it real. If you try to push too many products or recommend absolute tosh, readers will soon catch on and surf elsewhere. Stick to sharing products that you truly believe in and your audience is likely to stay happy and engaged. Passion and expertise should go with integrity.
Know your niche. In doing so, your blog can become a trusted place for unique information and attract readers who are really interested in that topic. You may even wish to conduct research to grasp their interests, challenges, and preferences. Use this understanding to tailor your content, tone, and style. You can’t appeal to everyone, after all.
2. Sponsorship and brand partnerships
Brands are always on the look out for bloggers who have a strong connection with their target audience. Teaming up together can be a great way to monetise.
The idea is that you create content to showcase a product or service, earning compensation in return. It’s win-win: the brand gets exposure with your audience, while you stand to earn from that authority you’ve built up.
Sponsorships and partnerships are a little different to affiliate marketing in the sense that you’re only publishing content — visitors don’t necessarily have to click through or make a purchase. Though, of course, affiliate marketing often goes together.
Collaboration like this is made possible when companies recognise a blogger’s influence in their niche, making them a trusted source for recommendations. There’s some crossover with the ideas influencer marketing, and even celebrity endorsement.
Sponsored bloggers might also be “paid” in the form of freebies or other perks. If you’re an enthusiast or connoisseur for a particular thing you love — be that cars, guitars, cheese or wine — what better way to get free stuff just for voicing your opinion?
It’s so important to post content that offers value on its own — before you go asking readers to follow a link or add an item to a basket.
3. Selling physical products
If you’ve already established an online store or marketplace, blogging can be a great way to get visitors adding items to baskets.
Blogging can be particularly effective if you make your own stuff. It’s the perfect place to show off your creations — sharing pictures and stories about your items, together with links so that readers can buy direct. Of course, you’ll need to come up with top quality content.
A good website builder is key for launching a successful online business, especially for bloggers who seek a blend of ease of use and aesthetic appeal. 123 Reg’s Website Builder stands out for blogs. It simplifies the website creation process with an intuitive interface and a variety of pre-built templates — very handy indeed for building blog layouts. Customisation is straightforward – you can personalise your blog by adding your own images, videos, and a unique colour scheme. If you’re just starting out and don’t have much content, 123 Reg also provides a library of copyright-free images to spice up your blog posts.
Another options might be to sell products on a blog built in WordPress, using plugins like WooCommerce. It’s a simple way to create an online store, display items, and process sales directly through a blog. As we mentioned earlier, there’s also plenty of plugins for managing affiliate links.
4. Selling digital products
Digital products are items that can be downloaded or accessed online. There’s a wide range of digital products you can create and sell through your blog, catering to various niches and audiences.
One popular category of digital products is ebooks. If you’re a subject matter expert or a skilled writer, you can create and sell ebooks on topics that resonate with your blog’s audience. These can range from informative guides and how-to manuals to engaging fiction or self-help books.
Another lucrative option is online courses and educational content. If your blog revolves around a particular skill or knowledge area, you can offer in-depth courses, webinars, or video tutorials that provide value to your readers. For example, a fitness blogger can create and sell workout programs, while a language-learning blog can offer online language courses.
Printables and templates are also in-demand digital products. These can include planners, checklists, graphic design templates, or even resume formats. If you have design skills or can create practical templates, your blog can work to showcase and sell. Again, Website Builder and WordPress are great platforms for selling, be it physical or digital goods.
5. Courses and coaching
Creating and selling online courses and coaching services through your blog can be a profitable pursuit. If you possess expertise in a specific field or niche that fits well with your audience’s interests, consider developing and offering online courses. These can cover a wide range of topics, from professional development and personal growth to practical skills like cooking, coding, or photography.
Platforms like WordPress, Teachable, Thinkific, or even with LMS (Learning Management System) can assist you in setting up and managing online courses. MemberPress is just one of many useful WordPress plugins for setting up restricted course access. There are plenty out there.
Online courses and coaching services offer opportunities for bloggers looking to monetise their expertise and authority. Platforms like Coursera and Udemy host a plethora of courses on diverse topics, from digital marketing to personal development (courses like “Digital Marketing Fundamentals” on Coursera, for example) allowing them to earn commissions through affiliate programs.
Platforms like edX also offer programs where bloggers with subject-specific knowledge can inform their audience about these academic opportunities. By sharing insights and affiliate links, it’s possible to earn from referral fees for enrolment. Not all subjects need to be academic: you can also instruct on yoga, life coaching, astrology, or whatever you’re capable of!
6. Live events and webinars
Live events have become increasingly popular for bloggers to generate income. Music and stage performances shifted to virtual platforms during the pandemic and have stayed popular ever since. Workshops, conferences, and Q&A sessions are also ticket-able.
Webinars are a valuable tool used by bloggers and marketers to share expertise, promote content, and even sell products. You can offer free webinars to promote your existing products or sell tickets to the webinar itself if you have valuable information to share. If you were an expert baker, for example, you might offer online lessons on baking artisan bread.
It’s important to build up email subscription lists for live events. According to GrowthBadger data, bloggers who earn over $50,000 per year from their blogs are over twice as likely to focus on getting email subscribers compared to lower-income bloggers. Webinars and events are excellent lead magnets — something to offer the public in exchange for signing up. You might even build a dedicated webinar landing page.
7. Selling ad space
Unlike affiliate marketing, you earn money based on ad clicks and impressions rather than sales. That is to say: the ads you see above, below, and to the side of your blog page.
There are two primary avenues to explore for generating income through advertising on your blog. One approach involves individual negotiations with companies within your niche. You can reach out to these companies and inquire about advertising opportunities on your site. While this method demands time and negotiation skills, it has the potential to yield big returns.
The second choice is to use automated advertising networks. ‘Contextual Advertising’ places ads related to your blog’s content using automated systems and keyword targeting. All you need to do is embed the provided code on your site and you’ll earn income for displaying ads. The networks allocate advertising space on your blog and handle billing on behalf of advertisers.
Google AdSense is a popular way to earn money by displaying Google ads on websites. After setting up an AdSense account, bloggers can then choose ads that match their audience, improving click rates and engagement. Revenue comes from two sources: ad clicks and ad impressions. This hands-off approach simplifies things and makes AdSense a practical option for bloggers aiming to monetise their content.
While you earn a share of the income generated from these ads, Google keeps a sizable chunk. Selling ad space is always dependent on traffic — and you’ll need a lot of hits to make big earnings.
There are lots of exciting ways to earn through blogging. Affiliate marketing is one proven method. Selling ad space is another. But success depends on hits — and this isn’t going to happen overnight. You’ll need a target audience, top quality content, and a smart SEO game. Easier said than done! If you have your own business already, a blog can be a tool to inspire visitors to add items to baskets, both physical and digital. Other ideas include live webinars and paid events. Stay committed and you’ll see that passion turn into profit.