Let me share a secret.
After ChatGPT became available to the public, I had a short depression.
I’m a journalist. Someone who dedicated her life to harnessing wordplay. So seeing AI replacing myself isn’t something I was eager to do. Am I useless from this day on? Will I lose all my blogging income?
In the ever-evolving landscape of online content creation, blogs have long been a popular way for creators and businesses to share their ideas, expertise, and experiences. However, AI has revolutionized the world we live in. It would be crazy to deny that.
So even though content creation can be automated, does it mean that the world doesn’t need people connecting words and ideas together with their minds anymore? Can blogs make money?
Despite the evolving digital landscape, the answer is a resounding YES—blogs can still make money.
In this article, I’ll share some of the ways that allowed me to earn over $500,000 over time, just by blogging.
1. Display Advertising
One of the most common and simple ways of monetizing a blog is via display advertising.
Sounds complicated? Well, it’s not.
The most popular display advertising network is Google AdSense. Ever noticed annoying advertising banners on websites across the Internet? That’s what Google AdSense is.
By the way, before reading on, check out the differences between a blog and a website.
Google purchases the space on your blog for ad placements. These ads can be in the form of banners, text ads, or even native ads that blend seamlessly with the blog’s content.
By partnering with advertising networks like Google AdSense, bloggers can earn revenue by displaying targeted ads on their websites.
The income generated from display advertising varies depending on factors such as the blog’s niche, traffic volume, and audience engagement. While it may not be a significant source of income for smaller blogs, those with a substantial following can earn a considerable amount through display advertising.
Revenue from Display Ads is one of my favorite revenue streams, just because it’s as close to passive as you’re going to get. All you need is to maintain good standings with the website and regularly create new content. When your blog gets and keeps good rankings in Google, you can allow yourself to be a little more loose with the content schedule.
Over time, my income in Google AdSense ranged from $15,000 to $25,000 / year. And that’s passive income. Not bad, right?
Here’s one of my payouts:
I also created a guide on how to make money with Google AdSense.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular monetization strategies employed by a myriad of bloggers to generate additional income. It’s so popular because pretty much every blog topic can be associated with some sort of product.
In addition, affiliate income might involve minimal engagement from the blog owner. Once you find an affiliate program focused on the type of physical or digital products, you’ll just have to get approved and in many cases, that will be it.
This type of marketing involves promoting products or services on the blog and earning a commission for each sale or referral made through the blogger’s unique affiliate link. Bloggers can partner with affiliate programs relevant to their niche and incorporate affiliate links within their content.
Here’s how affiliate marketing works, based on the Amazon example:
- You become Amazon Affiliate Partner.
- The company provides you with a personal account where you can create affiliate links to product categories or specific products.
- You can then use these links in your articles to generate more income.
Affiliate marketing works because bloggers have developed trust with their audience. If you recommend products you genuinely believe in, your subscribers will gladly value your recommendation.
I used affiliate links from Amazon only in a few articles in my blog. It took me 2 days to set all the links and now I have a bit of passive income every month with endless opportunities to grow it. Not bad, right?
3. Sponsored Content
Ever seen your favorite blogger recommend a bunch of products?
It’s called sponsored content.
In this model, brands reach out to bloggers to promote their products or services through dedicated blog posts, reviews, or mentions.
These partnerships can be mutually beneficial, as brands gain exposure to the blogger’s audience, while bloggers receive compensation for their work. This compensation can be either one-time or also include affiliate income generated from the bloggers’ sales.
Although it seems that this monetization opportunity is mainly for bloggers with a reach of over 100,000 subscribers, depending on your niche, sponsored opportunities can be available even for microbloggers.
The key to successful sponsored content is maintaining authenticity and transparency as to the characteristics of the advertised product. It’s always nice to make sponsored content entertaining, fun, and customized.
4. Digital Products (Courses, Ebooks and Memberships)
Many successful bloggers have found success by creating and selling their digital products. This could include e-books, online courses, templates, guides, or any other digital resource that aligns with the blog’s niche and audience’s interests.
By leveraging your expertise and providing value-packed content, you can monetize your knowledge and create a passive income stream. The advantage of digital products is that they can be created once and sold repeatedly, making them an excellent investment of time and effort.
Some bloggers have shifted towards implementing membership or subscription models to monetize their blogs. By offering premium content or exclusive benefits to subscribers, bloggers can charge a recurring fee for access to their expertise or community.
This model works best when bloggers have established themselves as authorities in their niche and have a dedicated following willing to invest in their content. Membership models can foster a sense of exclusivity and provide additional value to loyal readers.
Over the years, I’ve created over 10 online courses. Mostly it’s been a very comfortable passive income.
A successful blog can serve as a platform for freelance and consulting opportunities. Bloggers who have built a reputation and a strong portfolio can leverage their expertise to secure freelance gigs or offer consulting services to individuals or businesses seeking guidance in their niche.
This not only provides an additional income stream but also expands your professional network and opens doors to new opportunities.
Consulting is one of the most lucrative opportunities you can pursue. In addition, it provides an unbeatable work/life balance and an opportunity to work from any place on Earth.
One of my most successful businesses was able to earn over $200,000 in 5 years. Considering that it has only been taking me an hour a day, this revenue stream was also pretty close to passive income.
Summary: Can Blogs Still Make Money?
In conclusion, while the digital landscape continues to evolve and AI changing the landscape, blogs can still make money. By diversifying income streams and adapting to new trends, bloggers can continue to monetize their content successfully.
Display advertising, sponsored content, affiliate marketing, digital products, membership models, and freelance opportunities all present viable avenues for bloggers to generate income.
The key to monetizing your blog lies in providing valuable and engaging content, building a loyal audience, and staying attuned to the needs and preferences of your readers.
With determination, creativity, and a well-executed strategy, even tiny blogs can continue to thrive in the realm of online monetization.
If you need any help with a strategy for your blog, consult Vandenic marketing agency. We specialize in SEO services for small businesses and have aced a 3-month strategy that brings consistent results for new blogs.