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Last Updated on January 19, 2021 by Daniella
As someone who is looking at blogging as a side hustle or to take their blog income streams to the next level, your creativity will be your greatest asset.
You have to get very creative with how you make money blogging and be willing to explore different monetization methods.
Since I started my blog in 2017, I’ve been able to create and build 9 different income streams from it.
My blog’s income streams include:
- Ad income from Mediavine
- Affiliate income from affiliate partnerships
- Sponsored partnerships
- Lauch Your Side Hustle program
- Digital products
- Coaching and consults
- Freelance writing
- Webinars and workshops
None of this happened overnight though. I made $1,000 total from my first year of monetizing my blog and it took a lot of work, consistency, boundaries, and willingness to learn and adapt to get to where I am with my blog income now.
Compare that to now where last month I matched my day job income of $8,000 before taxes with my blog income alone.
13 Ideas for Blog Income Streams as a New Blogger
The way I make money with my blog won’t be the exact same for another blogger. We all have our different strategies for bringing in the moolah and different income streams from different platforms.
So, I thought I’d reach out to a couple of other bloggers in a mastermind group I am apart of called The Insiders (which are always looking for new bloggers to join and help grow their blogs – click here to learn more).
1. Freelance Writing – Laura from Before You Go Freelance
When you blog, you’ll naturally hone your writing skills. Those skills can translate into a solid income stream. Every website needs content, and new sites are launching every day. That means there’s no shortage of opportunity out there!
So, why freelance writing? The fastest way to make money with a blog or website is to offer a service. Affiliate income, product sales, ads, etc., all take time to generate revenue because you need to build up a steady stream of traffic first. So, if you need cash sooner rather than later, offer to write content for other businesses and online publications.
To get started, reach out to a blogging connection or two and offer to write a guest post. Guest posts are typically unpaid, but they give you the ability to say that you’ve been published somewhere other than your own site. Once you’ve got a couple of those in your portfolio, start applying for paid gigs. Advertise that you’re for hire. Or, try some of these other strategies to get clients as a new freelancer.
2. Sell Digital Products
I love selling digital products because you can still sell a product when you don’t have a lot of traffic or a huge following yet. It is especially great for newer bloggers too.
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You can sell digital products on your same website as your blog using the following tools:
Related: How To Make Money With Pinterest
3. Sponsored Posts – Todd At Invested Wallet
As your blog and audience continue to grow, so will the outreach from other brands and websites inquiring about sponsored posts. And the beauty of this is that you don’t need insane traffic to get paid for campaigns; however, more traffic will equal you being able to ask for much more money.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you start exploring this avenue from your blog.
- You’ll receive many spammy offers, looking for quick links. You can do this if you want to make a few bucks, but you’ll want to make the links “no follow” or “sponsored,” which tells Google not to crawl it and that it’s paid. However, those spammy sites want the link juice and will not be looking for any “no follow.” And doing too much of the junk offers could eventually get your site penalized by Google. I’d avoid it, but you can proceed with caution.
- You’ll also receive legit inquiries from brands or companies looking for you to write about their product or services for a fee. These will be legit and work with you to follow best practices when it comes to following proper posting protocol.
You can make some serious money from sponsored posts, pending your reach and sponsored offerings. You can make a few hundred, a few thousand, or even five-figures for a simple sponsored campaign. It’s a great way to get paid for writing; it doesn’t take a ton of effort and can create a powerful revenue stream.
4. Gift Guides – Amanda at My Life, I Guess
Affiliate marketing is one of the common ways bloggers make money. If you’re not familiar, a blogger can sign up to an affiliate program and earn a small commission whenever someone signs up or makes a purchase using their link.
But coming up with an effective and profitable strategy is tough. Simply adding affiliate links throughout your site might get you some commission sales, but it isn’t going to be much, and it isn’t going to be consistent, especially for smaller blogs.
Creating a gift guide, on the other hand, is a smart strategy for generating recurring passive income that works for blogs of any size and in any niche.
People buy things online every single day! And if they are searching for gift guides, they are ready to make a purchase. You don’t have to work as hard to convince them to spend, which is a big hurdle with other forms of affiliate marketing. When done right, your gift guide makes shopping easy and convenient, which turns into a great income stream for you, the blogger.
5. Gaming – Melanie from Partners in Fire
Owning and maintaining a blog can help you drive traffic to your other side hustles as well, including a Twitch channel. If you are a gamer looking to increase membership in your discord or drive traffic to your channel, starting a blog can help. It’s a great place to talk about gaming off of Twitch and keep your audience engaged. You can use the blog to write game reviews, map out walk-throughs, explain the Twitch affiliation process, or even discuss the latest gaming news.
You can also use the blog to apply for affiliate programs, such as Gamestop, which you can then use on your Twitch channel as well. Having a blog with traffic will help you build trust and relationships with advertisers, which can help you get those sponsored and affiliate opportunities even while your Twitch channel is in its infancy.
6. Social Media Campaigns – Money Saved Is Money Earned
As you grow and become a recognized brand in your niche, you’ll have opportunities to do all sorts of collaborative work with other brands hoping to get their product/service in front of more eyes. You increase your chances of landing collaborations even more if you’ve built up a good social media following.
Often, brands are looking for people/blogs to share a Tweet, Facebook post, or start a conversation in a forum like Reddit. While this isn’t typically the most lucrative income stream if your following is large enough, you could get paid a fairly good amount for very little work on your part. Hey, Money Saved is Money Earned, and every little bit adds up.
As with other income streams in this post, make sure that the brand you’re promoting fits with your content and values. It isn’t worth it to promote something spammy or unrelated just to get a quick buck.
7. Turbocharge Your Offline Income – John at Financial Freedom Countdown
Most bloggers create a website to talk about their hobbies and interests. While this is a valuable way to make income, it is often harder to break into a niche where there is a low entry barrier, and you are competing with everyone else.
A better strategy to make money is to extend your offline presence to your online blog.
Consider Edward, who is a CPA. He provides tax advice to his clients. He notices that most of his tax advice is repetitive to his Real Estate clients over a while. He starts a website and starts selling e-books containing the same direction. He spends 100 hours (or two months of weekends) working on writing the e-book.
After he has done the initial work, he can publish his book and collect passive income for the rest of his life. He can also use the website to establish himself as a tax authority and get invited to a conference. As a published author, he can charge high speaker fees. Speaking at a one-day seminar, he can earn more than what he would make as a CPA for the entire tax season.
Expert Edward has leveraged his website to generate passive income and get paid more on an hourly basis. As a result, his net worth would increase much faster than other CPAs who did not take action.
Bottom line, it is easier to document what you do at your day job. You are not struggling with writer’s block or imposter syndrome. Using your online presence, you can establish yourself as an expert in your offline field, and your offline and online income streams complement each other.
8. Host Pay Per View Sessions
If you have a passing interest in starting a blog, you may have read income reports regaling you with the exploits of fabulous bloggers making six-figure incomes. The problem with most monetization methods blogging is that they typically require lots of traffic.
If you want to earn money with display ads, you need thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. To earn decent money with sponsored posts, you usually need sizable traffic and a strong social media following. Many new bloggers with less than 50k monthly pageviews and a smaller social media following may struggle to earn a sizable income through traditional means.
However, a small blogger can build a nice income stream by thinking outside the box. Instead of attempting to chase an increasing number of page views each month, focus on serving the needs of your readers. One of the best ways to monetize a smaller blog audience while building a better connection with your reads is to offer sessions on Symposium.
The Symposium app and platform lets you host live pay per view one-on-one or one-to-many sessions. Think of it as a live pay per view Youtube Video or podcast. You can turn one of your most popular blog posts into the session’s topic, helping you monetize a smaller audience.
For example, if you are a beauty blogger, you can hold a symposium session on applying makeup. If you charge just five dollars for a listing and have 100 attendees, you can easily make 500 dollars or more. Plus, it’s easy to do a few sessions a month, helping to boost your blog income.
9. Affiliate Marketing – Marjolein at Radical FIRE
When you started your blog and have decided that you want to make money with it, what do you do next? You want to be the next Tim Ferriss, only working a 4-hour workweek and relaxing the rest of the time, thinking about all the passive income you’re earning.
It’s the dream that many people have. Where do many people start? Affiliate marketing.
In short, affiliate marketing is where you promote other people’s products, earning a commission for every sale you make. Affiliate marketing is a way to talk about projects that you enjoy and use while making a commission when someone decides to purchase.
You can start affiliate marketing by publishing reviews of products or services you use on your blog. If you don’t know what products to promote, think about what you’re using yourself. When you want to get more affiliate offers for your niche, just Google “best affiliate programs” + [niche].
Just be careful of what products or services you’re going to promote. When you promote something that you have used or tested yourself, you are sure that the product is legit. Plus, when you genuinely want to recommend the product because you use and enjoy it, your readers pick up on that vibe.
10. Sell Products on Etsy – Derek from The Money Family
Etsy is an easy place to get started selling your products online. Items like baby decor, candles, custom signs, and clothes are all great sellers on the platform and can be easily tailored to your blogging audience.
You can also focus on digital products that are tailored to readers looking to build their own blogs. Logos, content planning calendars, and pin templates are all popular options.
Etsy tends to rank items that sell well higher in the search results. So an initial burst in sales from your blog can help provide a lot of momentum for sales going forward.
Derek from The Money Family used his blogging audience and Facebook groups to promote his Etsy shop selling handmade bread baking tools. His items now rank near the top of Etsy for a number of popular baking related search terms and his shop consistently does over $1,500/month in sales with almost no advertising.
11. Join an ad network – Bella from Bella Wanana
Are you looking to be able to potentially make $1000 fast in a week? Joining an ad network can be the answer if you are a blogger.
When you are a new blogger, the easiest ad networks that you can join is Google Adsense. Keep in mind that the payout is quite low, but it gives you a good understanding of how ads work, how your audience likes to interact with them on your site, etc.
Once you have built up your traffic, you can join premium ad networks such as ezoic (10K session per), Mediavine (50K session per month), or AdThrive (100K pageviews). The payout of these ad networks is much better than Google Adsense.
12. Credit Card Referrals – The Frugal Tourist
Most of the income earned by The Frugal Tourist come from credit card referral commissions. Whenever readers sign up for a specific travel credit card, they get rewarded a specific amount of points that can be redeemed for free travel.
The banks will then compensate the referrer (the blog) with a commission for recommending their products. By the way, this hobby of leveraging credit card sign-up bonuses to travel for free is called travel-hacking.
Simply put, it is a win-win situation! The Frugal Tourist gets to help people inch closer to booking their dream vacations for a significant discount while their support allows the blog to continue to thrive.
13. Create and Sell E-Books – Jessica from The Budget Savvy Bride
As a blogger, if you have a particular area of expertise, you can easily create an e-book filled with the most important and helpful info you’ve shared. Putting everything together in one simple resource is a great way to elevate your expertise and also monetize it.
Creating your own products allows you to generate passive income. Publishing e-books takes a decent amount of time upfront, but then you get to reap the benefits for as long as you sell your content.
You can make your e-books as in-depth or as simple as you’d like and price them accordingly. At The Budget Savvy Bride, we offer a free e-book as an email opt-in for our visitors, but we also have paid e-books available for purchase, such as our Budget-Savvy Honeymoon e-book about using travel hacking for your honeymoon!
Blog Income Baskets: The More The Better
Once you have one income stream set and bringing in money every month, start researching and adding others where you can. Something like ads and affiliate links are easy to complement with other income streams if you have a good amount of content established on your blog. Those also happen to be one of the first income streams I implemented.
If you need help learning new skills, there is a wealth of knowledge you can find through free online courses and online groups.
Be sure to document when you add new income streams, the different portals you will have to maintain payment and tax data in, and analyze data to see where things are performing well versus not so well. Then tweak and refine your strategy.
Keep that creative muscle going and you got this!
Tell us in the comments below what income streams you’ve built out or are working on building out! We’d love to hear of more ideas 😍
- Blogging as a Side Hustle: Mid Year Blog Checkin, Income, Redesign & More
- How This Blogger Makes Over $10,000 a Month (+ Her Top Tips for Building an Online Business)
- How Danielle Creates Passive Income as an Author, Blogger, & Podcaster
- Blogging For Beginners: 30+ Blogging Resources to Create and Maintain a Profitable Blog
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Daniella is the creator and author of iliketodabble.com. When her wife Alexandra and her aren’t globetrotting or playing with their 7+ animals, they are hustling and working towards a future of financial freedom.