There are a lot of posts on how to make money with a blog, but here is one thing that makes this post different from all the others:
This blog has been a pioneer in this matter since I launched it in 2010. I have been generating 5 monthly figures for more than 5 years, consistently, month by month.
This blog has generated in a total of more than 3 million euros.
And I’m not talking about the blogs of my students that invoice 6 or 7 figures per year. Thousands have been trained with me in the last decade, and some of these students have already passed their teacher.
I bring you 10 years of wisdom and practical experience of making money from a blog.
The strategies that I am going to present to you below have proven to be effective in all online niches and for all types of bloggers, from the newest to the most veteran of web writing.
By the way, if you want to beat it with your posts, bet on SEO writing.
What parents want their child to be a blogger?
Of course, mine did not want it and even my partner did not want it at first.
Now, with the passage of time, with the arrival of income, and with incredible foresight and perseverance, as a result of the system that I have designed on my blog, things have changed a lot.
So can you make money from a blog?
I think it’s pretty clear.
The question we must solve is more complicated: how do you make money with a blog? What is the system to know how to make money with my blog, whatever the subject?
I am going to dedicate this post to talk about this delicate subject and I will do it in a simple way: explaining everything I would tell my twins in case they wanted to be bloggers one day.
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The 6 best ways to make money from a blog
Before I explain anything to you, I want you to stay with a very important concept: to make money with a blog you will need much more than being a blogger.
Perhaps this message is the most important of this whole post: your blog is not the purpose.
If you are an entrepreneur and want to have a successful business, the goal is to sell. In other words, to help your readers in the best way possible to advance on their life path.
Prepare to be an entrepreneur before you blog.
A good entrepreneur should be clear about their value proposition (how I help my target audience) and what their business model is (how I make money with my business).
I know that you are more interested in that second part about business models with which to generate income, right?
Well, let me present you with the 6 great pillars with which you can earn money with your blog.
1. SELL SERVICES
What is the best way to earn money “fast” with your blog?
Hang up a “hire me” button and sell hours of your time for a fee.
It’s not optimal for your lifestyle, but it is optimal for your wallet.
Think of services for people more than for companies, since you will have access to more markets (and also to a market that consumes blogs on a daily basis).
The top 8 of the services sold on the net is this:
- Virtual assistant
- Social networks
- Accounting finance
The idea is simple: you do it for your client and he pays you.
Now you can be more creative. Today an armada of new services are being born in the line of SER plus every day of the year:
- Personal trainer
- Wedding planner
- Personal shopper
- Dog walker
- Cook at home
- Turnkey parties
- Space organization
- Feng shui
- Yoga / Meditation
- Health Coach
- Spirituality / Tarot
- DIY and repair
The list is endless.
Think of something that makes a person happier, richer or freer, sells an experience more than a service and there will always be someone willing to pay you.
2. ONLINE AND FACE-TO-FACE TRAINING
This second line of income is also very natural on a blog.
If you have the knowledge, in addition to selling services (I do it for you) you can also sell training (I train you to do it yourself).
We are experiencing the Do It Yourself boom. People want to learn and not depend on others.
And we have types of formations of all tastes.
In offline for example we have these 5:
- Face-to-face coaching
Find a rental space and serve your customers. The last 4 mentioned allowing you to scale your time since in one hour you will be serving more people.
But obviously, if you want to overcome the geographical barrier, you can think of a digital version of your training materials:
- Ebooks or Audiobooks
- Download courses
- Online courses
- Intensive online program
- Private clubs with membership
A blogger without info products is leaving a lot of money on the table.
If you don’t create your own info products, other less prepared bloggers will do it for you.
It’s never too late to start, so start now.
I want you to be aware that your Lifestyle as a Blogger depends on your ability to sell info products.
Infoproducts scale almost to infinity. The services, no.
3. SELL DIGITAL PRODUCTS
Digital products are different from info products, as no content or information is sold.
What is sold here is the following:
- Themes / Templates
- Plugins / Software
- Audio Video
- Graphic design
Welcome if you are a digital native and you can design and/or program because the future is yours and you can sell bits or software and also services and training.
If you are not a digital native or have never managed IT projects, I recommend starting with another line of income.
If you do not know what you are doing, hiring a team of designers and programmers without having clear ideas about what they have to do is the best way to lose your savings very quickly.
And they will not have cheated you, you will have created yourself. If you do not know what you want or change your specifications every 2 by 3, the only response is you.
4. CREATE INDIRECT OPPORTUNITIES
For many people, the best way to make their blog profitable is not by selling services, training, or digital products.
For many, the blog is an enhancer of indirect opportunities.
Let me explain this concept to you better.
Imagine an employee who runs a blog where he shares his knowledge and who ends up creating a Master on his subject, integrating the training team, and achieving indirect sales.
Or imagine the employee getting a raise because their blog makes them more visible, prominent, and valuable.
There are many indirect opportunities that would not exist without the blog:
- Pay rise
- Job change
- Third-party training
- Alliances with other experts
- Presentations at events
- Book with publisher
- Blog Trip
Many of them can generate 5-digit leads.
Others may be less, but if you are a travel blogger and they pay you a trip full of activities so that you can later write your experience on your blog… I’m sure you will be very happy to be paid to travel and write, right?
5. ADVERTISING AND MEMBERSHIP
Although it is not a model that I like, for some types of blogs it can be interesting to think about advertising.
Well, surely more in the sponsorships that are managed 1 to 1 directly through the blog.
There is a transactional cost and you will have to build loyalty to these brands by showing that you can value their bottom line, but at least the margins you will get will be more exciting than those that the large display networks give you, starting with Google Adsense.
Except in a few very few niches, there is no money from advertising on a blog.
And if you luckily find a winning niche, you will have to become a specialist in this subject and abandon everything you have learned so far.
This doesn’t make sense to me. Nor for many of the niche bloggers who are suddenly launching info products.
It’s clear what I think of advertising, right?
It is passive and easy to activate, but at your traffic levels, you will not be able to overcome the barrier of 100 euros per month.
If you later try to replicate these niches every 2 by 3 in other sectors, I don’t understand what passive means in the passive niche concept.
However, there is one topic that I find more interesting: affiliation.
And more than the affiliation of large affiliate networks ( see here ) I am talking about the affiliation of info products between bloggers.
These info products can be very relevant to your audience and you can earn 50% for every sale. Much better than the sad 10% that Amazon offers you or the 5% that you will charge from an airline or a hotel.
And to finish, I want to emphasize the sponsored posts and/or podcasts.
As a blogger, I am not willing to accept that a brand dictates what I should post on my blog.
I mean, I’m writing something because I really mean it and I think bloggers should post their conflicts of interest with more transparency.
Brands sure don’t want to do it, but you’re required by law to do so and your audience deserves to report it.
Another different thing is that a brand supports an event, a podcast, or a blog (or a category of a blog) without ever meddling with the editorial line.
That is what I call endorsements.
There are brands that believe in them, although the vast majority are concerned about generating short-term sales.
For all these reasons, there is no advertising on my blog right now.
I accept sponsorships without interference in the content and make affiliation with other blogger products for which I would put my hand on fire.
This line of activity for me is attached and does not exceed 3% of the income generated.
6. SELL PHYSICAL PRODUCTS WITH A BLOG
A blog can also be used to sell physical products, especially if you sell unique products such as crafts. You will want to publicize how these products are produced, how you work, and what you believe in.
If you sell art or crafts with hardly any brand, these topics take on more importance than the product you create itself. Also if you sell Premium products and want to position yourself more as a seller of experiences rather than products.
In other words, if you sell rather expensive products, a blog can help you sell.
“So, Franck, doesn’t a blog make sense to sell in an e-commerce?”
In many cases not, because you compete for prices with little margin and the blog is an additional effort that your clients will not appreciate.
Before setting up a blog, I would invest in advertising campaigns in Adwords, Facebook Ads, email marketing, etc. There is a learning curve, but I am sure the return would be better.
You can also distribute merchandising from your blog if your brand is already established.
In many niches, think sports and nutrition, there are many hyper-relevant physical products in categories such as electronics or nutritional supplements.
Again, I don’t think e-commerce is the best business model for a blog, but in some cases, it does make sense to integrate it.
DIVERSITY IS KEY IF YOU WANT TO MINIMIZE RISKS
It is always bad to depend on a cannibalistic line of activity that monopolizes 50% or more of the generation capacity of your blog.
Don’t depend on a single customer.
Don’t depend on a single digital product.
Do not depend on a single source of visitor generation either. If Google or Facebook change its algorithm, your business may disappear overnight.
When you are young, to avoid a disaster, it is always healthy not to depend too much on a single actor involved in your business (the famous “stakeholder”).
The best way to generate diversity today is to carry out lifelong offline actions (training, workshops, and seminars) together with a digital version of them.
There is no cannibalization of income from offline by online (or vice versa) and you get different customers who prefer different formats.
How much money can you make with a blog?
Ahhh, the million-dollar question.
Well, the truth is that there are no limits.
Some blogs have been transformed into magazines and generate millions of euros per month. Obviously, they are no longer one-man blogs, there is a team behind it, both commercial and editorial.
If you prefer to target one-man blogs, it depends on 3 things:
- The market niche you have chosen
- The business model you have chosen
- Your ability to deeply connect with your audience and transform their lives with your solutions
The third is by far the hardest thing, but all newbies get obsessed with the niche.
HOW TO BILL 5 FIGURES A MONTH MONETIZING A BLOG?
Come on, I don’t want to leave you without answers, I’m going to get wet:
- If you sell premium services, consulting, coaching, and/or info products, it is feasible to generate 5 figures per month, consistently. Without hardly having a team. When you start to have money because your blog already generates money, if you set up a team and/or if you invest in online advertising, it is possible that the best proposals will escalate to 6 monthly figures.
- If you do not want to face customers, then you need to bet on advertising and affiliation. In this case, a good niche blog should generate around € 1,000 / month. If you want to consistently bill 5 figures, you will need to create a niche blog network.
These numbers are reasonable to me.
But it doesn’t mean that monetizing a blog is easy, guaranteed, and fast.
CAN YOU MAKE MONEY WITH A BLOG EVEN IF YOU ARE A NEWBIE?
Totally, although I would say that without the help of a mentor you are unlikely to succeed.
First, little money is made and then so much more in the world of blogging than in any other.
The key is to know from the beginning what you are going to sell and to produce the best possible content to attract the target audience of your referral solution.
IS IT TRUE THAT ANYONE WHO REALLY WANTS TO CAN EARN A DECENT LIVING WITH A BLOG?
It is one thing to have a blog and earn a few thousand euros a year.
That is great and is a bonus for you and your family. For example, a trip in the Tropics to recharge batteries with paradisiacal images is a beautiful purpose.
But another thing is to be able to live with your blog.
First, you will have to reach € 1,000 / month subtracting what the government + expenses take from you. You will keep a little more than half, net, in your pocket.
Yes, I know that nobody lives with dignity on € 500 / month. Many multinationals pay this in Spain, but it is not a decent salary.
If you want to be a ‘full-time’ blogger you will have to have the ability to generate around 2,000-3,000 euros per month on a consistent basis.
To achieve this you will need a mix of consulting / services, lifelong classroom training, and info-products.
This is a reasonable goal, but the problem is to reach it as a “side-project” blogger, also having a full-time job that feeds you and pays your bills.
This phase in your blogging project is the authentic journey in the desert where you will understand the meaning of the word sacrifice.
You will have to get up early, go to bed late, and sacrifice time with your family and/or friends to get your blog off the ground.
It is essential that you do not let this phase last too long, since your family will make you pay bills (with good reason!) And your body will tell you enough. Never play with health.
Someday, if you really want a Lifestyle, you will have to take the leap and take a chance with your solo blog.
Entrepreneurship is living with risk, although we try to minimize it.
HOW LONG DO I NEED BEFORE GENERATING INCOME WITH A BLOG?
The second million-dollar question 😀
Well here is my best Galician answer: it depends.
- It depends on when you will start selling.
- It depends on what you will sell, to whom, and at what price.
- And it depends on how you will sell it.
Some have been blogging for more than 2 years and have not generated a single euro. They may have made money from advertising to pay their friends around for a weekend, but little else.
In general, I think it is very healthy to start selling as soon as possible and overcome the barrier of the first sale before the 90 days of your blog.
Because if you don’t make money with your blog, you’ll end up throwing in the towel.
The perfect roadmap for newbies who want to know how to make money from a blog
OK, now that you have very clear ideas about the kinds of things you can sell from your blog, I’m going to explain how to activate these income streams.
There are 5 essential stages in the life of a blog designed to sustain a digital business.
Keep reading and you will discover them.
STAGE # 1 – CHOOSE THE BEST POSSIBLE THEME FOR YOUR BLOG
It is an important decision that should be based on your talents, your tastes and interests, and obviously the commercial potential of this subject.
You need both 3 aspects to be able to generate money with your blog, and not give up trying.
Be careful with the themes that generate curious people who do not want to pay anything: video games for example. Much demand for information, but the only ones making money are video game manufacturers.
STAGE # 2 – WRITE GREAT CONTENT TO ATTRACT THE RIGHT READERS
It all starts with writing or at least producing content.
You can be more comfortable producing audios and/or videos. But in this case, retrieve the transcripts and rework them as posts. Google still needs texts before any other format despite YouTube being its best friend.
And, since you’ve started writing, you’d better write great posts.
And Franck, what is this for a great post?
A great post is a post that feeds on the most acute problems of your readers and tries to answer them as best as possible.
It doesn’t have to belong, but if you need a lot of words to answer this question well, don’t be afraid to write 5,000 words. For example, this post is going to exceed 7,000.
Why? Because I can’t seriously explain to you how to make money blogging with a 750-word post.
Even if Google placed it on the first page of its results it would be useless because, dear reader, there is no way to deceive you.
You are much smarter than Google and you can unequivocally identify an epic post from an SEO post that says nothing.
Let’s go to the third step.
Since you write with art, I hope you have well defined the business strategy of your blog and that you are not writing for a faceless lambda reader. If you do, you will be wasting your time writing without intention.
STAGE # 3 – CONVERT THESE READERS INTO SUBSCRIBERS
OK, the next stage is to capture the email of this reader. Without their email, you will not be able to contact this person.
And to get an email today, you need a great Lead Magnet. It is nothing more than a magnet of attraction in the form of a free gift that will help you to incentivize your subscription to your mailing list (ebook, free course, private video,…).
If you want to know how to create this Lead Magnet from scratch, take a look at the link above.
Now you can start your work as an entrepreneur.
With visits, you don’t control anything. But with a mailing list, you are building a digital asset that is worth money for your blog.
Put € 0.5 / month for each subscriber.
STAGE # 4 – SHARE CONTENT THAT SELLS ALONE
And now it’s time to sell, Franck?
Nope, not yet.
Without relationships, on the Internet, there is no sale.
You will have to share certain types of content.
Some content designed to prepare the field of sales in order to generate:
Without this content, it will be very difficult for you to sell with your blog.
Here we talk about mega guides, tutorials, success stories, etc, etc.
STAGE # 5 – HAVE SOMETHING TO SELL AND MAKE THE SALE
Of course, to sell you need a solution.
If you have nothing, start by selling the product of a blogger in your niche as an affiliate or try to sell a service. Both do not require you to create an info product.
You will do it later, once you have demonstrated that your business idea has the capacity to sell.
Set yourself a sales goal and, until you achieve it, do not lose focus. Keep selling that affiliate product or that service and nothing else.
STAGE # 6 – INCREASE PROFITABILITY OF NEW CUSTOMERS
The time has come to get more out of this newly acquired customer.
A buyer is not the same as a subscriber. A subscriber is a person who has shown you, with his credit card, that he is willing to invest in solutions on the theme of your blog.
Focus on it and try to upgrade it. If he has bought you a very cheap product, make him buy you something around 300 euros. And if he has already bought a service for € 300, try to sell him another complimentary service for € 1,000.
A customer is worth much more than what he pays you on his first transaction.
Integrate this concept into your digital business or you will be losing a lot of money with clients who in the end will spend their money with your competition.
It is in this context that a tool like the sales funnel makes all its sense.
I summarize the 5 key stages to be able to make money with your blog.
Download this graphic if you want, it will serve as a reference in case you ever lose focus.
You are clear about the step by step to make money with a blog, right?
Well, we are not finished yet because now I am going to present to you some markets in which you can position yourself with your next blog.
But first of all, I want you to stick with one concept: you make more money blogging in a booming market.
In this case, if you change the word blog for business, I think this statement would also be true.
It is easier to sell in a booming market than in one that is dying.
Who would set up a video store today? It doesn’t make much sense with Netflix just one click away.
And since I don’t want you to be in the wrong niche, I will tell you which are those 3 markets that will hit it in the next decade. In fact, they are already having a lot of success today.
You probably know the first one, but I’m sure when you discover the other 2 you are going to have a revelation. A revelation that will explain why you yourself are attracted to these markets.
3 booming markets to make money from your next blog
FUTURE MARKET NO. 1: E-LEARNING & CONSULTING FOR COMPANIES
This market is nothing new, but it is exploding more than ever.
We are going to focus it on the B2B world, from business to business.
Companies want e-learning solutions for their employees, suppliers, and their customers because the technological environment is changing and the cycles very short.
It is an ideal job to work as a consultant. Wherever there is complexity, there are organizations that get stuck and consultants are the solution.
In this market, the long tail is also arriving: increasingly smaller and hyper-specialized consultancies.
The market is no longer in the hands of the Big 5. There is disaggregation that means that there are many opportunities.
The difficulty is knowing how to reach your potential customers.
Focus on the actors who consume digital content on a daily basis and think about educational solutions (info-products), digital and/or SaaS services such as QuadernoApp designed to provide services to these micro-businesses.
Consulting in the US is a market valued at 449 billion dollars/year. To this, we must add the e-learning market and now make a global forecast.
Come on, if you dedicate yourself in any way to consulting or business coaching, your future is assured as long as you update your knowledge by training with the best.
FUTURE MARKET NO. 2: THE SALE OF INFO PRODUCTS
This is already a new trend because you yourself will be seeing that there is more and more offer of info products. Most are obviously ebooks, but also online courses, memberships, and paid content.
It is not a passing fad, it is the direct consequence of the liberation of knowledge on the Internet: now people can learn about everything and nothing.
Couple this with the long tail factor, which has already paid off in the book market, and starts doing the math for yourself.
As long as you know something that others want, you can position yourself as an online trainer and sell your info products.
Being a digital product, the cost of distribution is almost zero and you can operate instantly all over the world.
The reference is companies like ClickBank.
ClickBank is the largest marketplace for info products in the world, since it works in several languages and already invoices many hundreds of millions of dollars a year with accelerated and unstoppable growth.
The reality is that the distribution of info products is mainly done directly from blog to clients, without going through an intermediary like ClickBank, which makes the market much larger than these numbers.
There is no exact estimate, but the market is exploding and the info products are here to stay.
FUTURE MARKET NO. 3: COACHING FOR PEOPLE
Either to accelerate a professional career (Executive Coaching), to grow as a person (Life Coaching) or to enjoy a healthier life (Health Coaching), now it seems that if we do not have one or more coaches in our life, we are “Has Been ”totals.
In the West, there is more and more wealth and more time as well, but there are fewer jobs and I think that the work of the future involves working less.
We already have many material things, so the time to HAVE is over, and the era of BEING begins and of enjoying more today.
Killing oneself working for having assets makes no sense and that is where coaches come in, who help and accompany people in transforming their lives for the better.
If you want to see it differently, anyone who provides an advisory service to people (not companies) is now a coach.
Although some very clever organizations claim that you need an accredited degree to be one, I am talking about the market and not the degree here.
The one who knows how to help people, who really shows it with or without a title.
These services are also exploding in many areas of life:
- Buy clothes
- House organization
- Personal development
- Professional reinvention
Coaching has even come to the world of pets!
This is another trend that is here to stay. I am sure you had intuited it, but reading it now you understand better what is happening.
If you position yourself in one of these 3 booming markets with a value proposition that is consistent with who you are and what you know, I tell you in advance that the only problem you are going to have in the next 30 years is not to become a Workaholic.
Yup, a workaholic, because you won’t be short of work or money.
Now, I’ve been talking to you about making money with a blog for almost 6,000 words, but I think we have to get to the bottom of it.
Yes, you can make money with a blog and it is proven, but … are you really so committed to this idea that you are willing to pay the sacrifice that being a full-time blogger represents?
What nobody tells you about how to make money with your blog
How to make money from a blog is not the best question to ask.
Nope, it’s not.
What is really relevant is:
How much or little do you believe in yourself and your project of living from your blog?
What time do you take a week to make your dream come true?
Don’t be delusional: succeeding with a blog is a lot of work.
Let me ask you a few questions before you really ask yourself.
1 – WHAT AVAILABILITY DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR BLOG?
I see 4 different profiles of bloggers:
- Hobbyist blogger: If you have a paid job and less than 5 hours a week, you are an amateur blogger. In the best of cases, you can earn some extra money with an ebook, but you will hardly be able to make a living from your blog if you cannot find more hours a week. If you do it for a pure and simple hobby, the monetization of your blog should not interest you
- Professional blogger: If you are a professional and you sell services, you may do it with less than 10 hours a week, so you are a professional blogger. Even so, the blog makes more sense in your life because you know that it generates new opportunities for your business. I encourage you to explore the wonderful world of info products, as they can give you back the freedom that your best customers have stolen from you.
- Infoproducer blogger: if you are clear that your professional future involves becoming an info producer and that the blog is your platform of attraction and loyalty, you can expect to one day live off your blog. I did not say that it will be easy or fast, but you are aligned with your dreams. You allocate the vast majority of your time to life project No. 1 that you have in hand and you live from the content you produce.
- Corporate blogger: If you blog for an organization, either as an employee or as a partner in your own startup, I doubt blogging will end up being your trade. The blog will continue to be a tool that you use, perhaps on a daily basis, but it will not become your No. 1 tool either. You are a corporate blogger and you get paid a salary to blog.
As you can see there are many types of bloggers, full-time or part-time.
The question is what kind of blogger you want to be.
If you want to be an info producer blogger, go looking for 25 hours a week from now on and give yourself a maximum period of 24 months to be working full time with your blog.
2 – WHAT MONEY DO YOU HAVE TO TRAIN ON BLOGGING (AND WHO WILL YOU DO IT WITH)?
In the world of blogging, timing is not everything.
If you want to accelerate your learning, you will have to train with:
- Online courses
- Face-to-face workshops
- Intensive programs
- Individual or group coaching
- Individual or group mentoring
You don’t just reinvent yourself in DIY and without a budget, that’s a lie.
Go preparing a budget of several thousand euros for 2 or 3 years and watch how you spend these 3,000-5,000 euros per year.
Choose as mentors people who have managed to be positioned where you want to be in 5 years.
And do me one last favor: have the decency to listen to what your mentor tells you and implement what they recommend.
No, you don’t know how to do it alone.
No, your ideas are not better.
No, not everything will work out.
But give your mentor the opportunity to transform your life.
There is no money worse spent than money put into mentoring / coaching with reluctance to change and listen.
Experiment, stick with what you like the most and go looking for another mentor, that’s how it works.
3 – HOW MUCH DO YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAM OF BECOMING A BLOGGER?
This question is also fundamental.
We all want to be on a paradisiacal beach and have a mojito and a very fresh coconut, but… is this the life you want forever?
If you like 5-star hotels and millionaire cars, fine. This is your goal in this case.
My dream is not the goal, my dream is the path that leads to success.
It consists of helping people and drawing smiles on their faces as if each smile you get gives you more days of the good life.
This is why it is so important to understand your own engine: what motivates you? Why do you do everything you do?
If you have a life project as I have, then you will achieve it. The only question is when.
Be careful, many people are not clear about their priorities in life. Clarify yours before starting or on the road.
Everything is worth it to me as long as you are happy.