I’ve been in the blogging industry for more than a decade. And in that time, I’ve learned what it means to fail as a blogger and what it means to be a successful digital nomad.
Being in an industry that demands a lot of testing, I have built blogs that failed as well as those that earn me four to six figures a month.
In other words, I’ve seen and experienced steep drops, high rises, and painful plateaus in the digital marketing world.
Today if you’re anything like me, you probably have a blog that’s already bringing in a couple hundreds or thousands of visitors a day. Except you have no idea how to monetize it to make money from the daily number of visitors to your site.
Or maybe you’re already thinking about monetizing that traffic but you have no idea what monetization methods to use.
In this guide, I’ll share some of the most profitable monetization options that you can implement on your blog right now.
You can check my step by step guide on how to start a blog that makes money today if you have not yet started your own blog.
1. Selling Online Courses
I’ve been an introvert all my life, but one of a different kind. In my moment of solitude, I find myself reading, writing, creating content, and sharing them with the world.
It’s from this tendency, and personal interest I should say, that I picked the idea of selling online courses as a way to monetize my traffic. And if I’m being honest, online courses sell like cupcakes in a candy’s store.
Our internet friends such as Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich and Gael Breton from Authority Hacker are icons from whom you can draw some inspiration. And if you think that’s not good enough, how about knowing that there are dozens of platforms that let you sell courses online?
Here’s how this works:
- Analyze the content of your site and find a central theme
- Create a video, audio, or text-based course around the niche in question
- Find the most visited pages on your website based on data from Google Analytics
- Update the content to include a promotion piece to put your course out there, right in front of the eyes that truly matter
- Track, track, track.
And let me be very clear on something:
It’s not just finance or business courses that sell well online. You can sell a course on any topic or niche provided the information you provide comes packed with ideas worth sharing.
Take Brad Traversy from Traversy Media, for example. He’s a self-taught web developer turned one of the greatest teachers on the internet with best-selling computer programming courses on the internet.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
It doesn’t matter whether you want to teach people yoga or you want to sell a weight loss program that works. As long as you have the traffic that can covert, you’re good to go.
2. Sell eBooks via Your Blog
When you create a blog and start writing content, you just can’t get enough of the process, especially if you immerse yourself deeply into writing.
Tell you what:
Having written hundreds of sales copies, lead pages, product reviews in almost all verticals, personal stories, poems, and blog posts, I’ve made my hands dirty in all ways possible.
And the best part is this:
I’ve made money from eBooks, even though my writing hasn’t featured on big platforms such as Good Reads or Amazon Kindle.
You, too, can do the same. If you have a way with words and you can write great content that gets people reading and talking, don’t hesitate to write an eBook on your site.
Again, your eBooks don’t have to be business or finance-based to sell.
People like Mark Manson, the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, focuses a lot more on self-development. And this book alone has sold more than 3,000,000 copies in America alone.
The premise for writing and selling eBooks is this:
If you have consistent traffic coming to your blog, and you’d like to monetize by selling your own products, write and sell eBooks.
And if the information you intend to put out there is worth reading, people will look up to you as an expert in your niche. And they’ll trust you with their wallets.
3. Affiliate Marketing
There was a time when making money while you sleep was nothing short of a pipedream. A 9 to 5 job, in a workplace with an angry supervisor and hardly ever-present boss, was the only option many of us had to make ends meet.
But times changed, the internet came, and the web gave birth to affiliate marketing, starting with the Amazon Associates as far back as 1192.
Today, you can monetize your traffic by simply recommending physical or digital products and earn some good commission for doing so.
Let me give you an example:
A year ago I started a niche in the cycling space. As someone who has been riding on all trails you can name for years, I’m no doubt a budding cycling enthusiast.
After six months of hard work, my cycling site started to pull in about a thousand visitors a day and four-figures in passive income.
If you’re anything like me, and you’d like to start a blog that makes you a decent income with 12 hours of work per month, check my guide on how to start a blog that makes money.
However, if you already have a blog that’s bringing in a decent number of visitors per day, find the right affiliate network, promote their products, and earn a commission.
And let me make one thing clear:
You don’t have to create an Amazon only website or blog to make a commission and earn passive income. There are tons of high paying untapped niches out there that have independent affiliate offers that you can create content for and monetize.
Let’s say you have a blog that teach people how to do affiliate marketing. Seriously, there are hardly any products on Amazon to recommend to your audience.
However, you can recommend digital products such as web hosting solutions, premium plugins, and high quality, SEO optimized WordPress themes.
In other words, it doesn’t matter what niche is your site. There’s always going to be an affiliate program for it.
4. Activate Ads on Your Website
The belief that you must have millions of visitors per month to make money from ads is downright false.
It’s because you can make money with ads even if you have just a couple thousands of visitors per month.
In the early stages of your website’s growth, you won’t have a lot of traffic to attract the eyeballs of extremely huge ad networks.
But even if you’re getting just 5,000 visitors per month to your site, you can sign up for Ad networks that accept small sites and then expand your traffic as the project continues to scale.
If I were to start my two-year-old cycling niche today, for example, and I wanted to optimize my small traffic with ads, I’d start by applying for Google AdSense and then join Ezoic.
I suggest you do the same thing.
Starting small is the best way to climb up the ladder. And as your site continues to grow, you can join other big advertisement networks and make money with them.
When my site grew to 50,000+ visitors per month, I joined the Mediavine advertising program. And based on my personal experience, it has so far been one of the best ad network that I have ever been a part of for the longest time I can remember.
Today, Mediavine earns my blog more money than Google AdSense and Ezoic combined.
But why ads and not affiliate offers?
From my experience, and from what I’ve learned from other bloggers, some niches, such as news, recipes, and finance don’t have tons of physical or digital products that you can promote.
Therefore the only way you can profit from them is by activating advertisements on your website.
5. Sell Freelance Services
I have talked and interacted with friends who don’t fancy the passive income way of life. They’re the active kind who prefers to put in hours of work to make a living online.
If you’ve looked at my list of the types of online jobs this year, then you know what I’m talking about already.
And what I know is this:
My friends aren’t the only ones who love to work online every day. You probably are one of them.
If that’s the case, you should consider monetizing your blog by selling freelance services on the internet.
Let me put it this way:
You’ve built a service blog from scratch. You’ve written the best blog for your target audience to read. More importantly, the blog brings you a ton of traffic.
You can simply monetize that blog traffic by offering freelancing services. And given that many clients and business online are looking for talented freelancers, you can turn your blog into a moneymaking machine almost overnight.
To be clear, you can make a lot of money as a freelancer. If you have a decent number of readers coming to you blog every month, you can even make five to six figures every month.
However, do keep in mind that freelancing isn’t going to earn you passive income. You have to vest a lot of your time, energy, and focus into the business if you seriously want to break even.
The most important part in being a freelance service provider is that you can build a solid client base. And if you’re good in building brand loyalty and customer trust, you can definitely be in business for a very long time.
6. Sell Digital Products to Your Audience
If you’ve worked consistently on your blog for around six months, it’s probably already getting quite a substantial amount of traffic.
If your blog niche is in a space where selling products is close to impossible, consider creating and selling digital products instead.
And it can be anything from content templates and premium newsletters to online applications and software downloads.
Let’s say you’re in the WordPress niche and you have some programming skills. You can build and sell premium plugins and themes on your site for profit.
You get the idea.
7. Sell Physical Products to Your Audience
If you’re in a niche that allows you to sell physical products, don’t hesitate to do so. As long as you can bring people to your website, you can be sure to make some decent income from the traffic.
Let’s say you are in the backpack niche.
And you also design custom backpacks as a full time or side job.
You can monetize your site by promoting your custom-made bags to the audience you’ve worked so hard to build. And you’ll end up making a lot of money along the way.
8. Monetize Your Blog with Podcasts
I never thought it would even be possible to monetize a blog with podcasts until I learned it from a blogging friend who’s killing it in the industry.
And the thing is:
Many people, myself included, listen to podcasts every week. So if your blog gets tons of visitors every day, you might as well want to consider adding podcasts as one of your monetization strategies.
To be clear, podcasts don‘t just generate more traffic for your blog and get your name out there. They can also earn your blog some decent revenue.
You can do so by selling sponsorship space in your podcasts, so that businesses can reach out to their potential market in the audience you’ve spent months or years to build.
9. Ask People to Donate to Your Blog
While we bloggers don’t come across this option a lot more often, it’s quite an effective monetization strategy to consider especially if you run a non-profit blog.
If you built your blog on WordPress, you can use free plugins such as Give and Charitable. Or you can add PayPal Donations buttons if yours is a custom coded blog.
To be clear, this monetization option doesn’t work straight away.
You need to create great content for your blog and build trust with your audience first. And if they find value in the information you share, they might as well trust you with their wallets.
10. Generate Revenue with Sponsored Posts
You can monetize your blog by selling sponsored posts if you have a lot of traffic to the site.
Quite too often, bloggers in your verticals or shoulder niches will reach out to you and ask if they can do sponsored posts on your blog. And that’s a great opportunity to earn some extra cash.
Even big brands may reach out and ask you to give an opinion about their products. More often than not, they’ll be willing to offer a compensation for the work you do.
11. Start a Coaching Business
If you’re already writing about a given niche, then it’s highly likely that you’re an expert in the topic. And if people ever have burning issues or want more details within your niche, you’ll probably be the first person they ask.
This is such a great opportunity for you to start a coaching program where you give your audience solutions to their problems – or detailed answers to their questions.
12. Create and Launch a Virtual Summit Relevant to Your Niche
I borrowed this idea from a popular web hosting blog. And to be honest, it’s not something I would have ever thought about in the first place.
But what is a virtual summit?
It’s an interactive and engaging session with multiple question and answer sessions on a given topic in your industry. The difference between virtual summits and webinars is that you can access the latter only for a limited time.
In other words, you can monetize your virtual summits by charging a subscription for all access pass. This will allow your attendees to access your material anytime they need to.
13. Start a Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping is almost synonymous to affiliate marketing. The biggest difference is that this business model requires you to create an ecommerce website and then work with suppliers to fulfil customers’ orders.
This revenue generation model can earn you a lot of money even if you have very little traffic. The secret sauce is to make sure you promote products that are either highly in demand or in the ones that people spend money on a lot more often.
14. Create Members Only Area
Creating a membership only area can change your blog from a regular content platform to an academy and money making machine.
I’ll tell you this:
People online are hungry for useful information, and that’s so in almost any vertical that you can name from the top of your head.
And that means one thing:
If your website is a hub that provides unique content that some other blog would otherwise struggle to create, you’re already an authority in the niche. In that case, creating a members’ only area can convert your traffic really well.
The number one rule to maintain a members’ only area as an income stream for months and years to come is to make sure you provide constant content updates.
People prefer freshness anyway, so this is something that you must consider if you choose to monetize your blog this way.
15. Charge People to Read Your Content
Charging people to read content isn’t a monetization strategy for the likes of New York Times alone. You can also do it for your website even if it receives only a couple of thousands of visitors per month.
To be clear, this approach works well if you have something praiseworthy or valuable to share with your audience.
So before you can implement this monetization strategy, you need to evaluate your current publications to determine whether you’re already providing value and establishing a brand presence online.
And on providing value, you need to ask yourself how unique your content is. If you engage in providing content that’s unique, detailed, and helpful, this monetization strategy can work well for you.
16. Sell Premium Newsletters to Your Readers
I’d like to believe that your target audience already loves your blog because you’re providing valuable information for free.
But your traffic can’t be quite as useful if you’re not monetizing it for profit, especially if yours is a space where recommending physical and digital products is close to impossible or irrelevant.
A good monetization option would be to sell premium newsletters to an audience that has already subscribed to your email list.
Like I said, if you’re providing value to your reader for free, they’ll definitely buy into your premium newsletter and trust you with their wallets.
The way to make this work is to have both free and paid for newsletters. Then you can use the free version to push the premium content so that your audience can know what you’re up to ahead of time.
Keep in mind that this revenue generation model isn’t particularly for everyone. It’s a powerful strategy to consider if you have some great insight and valuable content that your audience wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere otherwise.
Over to You
That sums up my guide on how to monetize your website and make money from the traffic you’ve worked so hard to bring to your blog.
Now, I’d like to hear from you.
Which monetization strategy are you planning to use? If you’ve implemented any of the methods I’ve shared in this guide, what has your experience been?
Share in the comment section.