I could not build a VC-backed startup despite having all the resources, like a product, a team, seed money and network of friends from the startup ecosystem. I began blogging in 2015 after failing at two startups and could not make any money from my blog in the first year. However, from the second year, I started making Rs 1 lakh a month from my blog. From then on, I have been able to keep making passive income from my blog.
I studied in Hindi medium and had average English skills. Now I make a living out of my writing. Here, I will share a few ways to make money from a blog. Every single method is so powerful that you can replace your full-time salary with a year of hard work.
1. Affiliate Marketing
This worked for me and it works for most people who want to earn at least 10 times more than what Adsense can pay you. Affiliate marketing does not work by filling up your website with lots of affiliate links.
- Affiliate marketing works if you recommend a genuine product that can actually help your readers.
- Affiliate marketing only works when your readers have buying intent.
2. Google Adsense
You might have heard bloggers make money by showing Google Advertisements. But Adsense is the least profitable way to make money from a blog. You won’t see any ads on my blog CashOverflow. Anyone can put up ads on his blog for the little money that Google pays. A big mistake many make is to fill up their blog with ads as it annoys readers.
Explore other ways to make money rather than relying on Google Adsense income.
3. Exclusive Partnerships
I say no to 90 percent partnership offers, and accept only 10 percent where there are mutual benefits. You can make more money from exclusive partnerships than regular affiliate marketing because then you can negotiate the commission. That does not mean you should accept whatever comes your way.
You can actually charge more when you work with fewer partners and help them increase their revenues.
I look for partners with whom I can work for the lifetime without worrying about what I can make in the short term. You should look for a partnership where your reader and partner can get value before you. Grab extra discounts for your audience and give valuable leads to your partners.
4. Content Writing (Sponsored Content)
Less than 0.5 percent of the content on my blog is sponsored by big companies. I don’t accept all sponsored content requests so that I can keep up the quality of the content on my blog.
Your blog may look spammy and promotional if you have more sponsored content than your own content. Yet, you can make good money by accepting sponsored content from the big companies.
Keep sponsored content at less than 10 percent because your readers would love to read non-promotional content.
5. Selling Information Products
You can make good money by selling e-books and courses on your blog. Selling informational products is a wonderful business because there is no additional cost for the product. Writing an e-book or recording a video course is a one-time effort. You can promote your courses through your blog, email marketing and even social media. You would keep making passive income if you automate all the marketing work because you don’t have to re-work the course content.
You can make money through consulting if you are expert in any skill. You can start a blog in your area of expertise and attract clients. Infinite consulting options are available in the field of health and fitness, design, sales, marketing and hiring.
For example, I made Rs 12 lakh last year through content marketing consulting. A startup CEO pays me $150 per hour because he can take faster marketing decisions by leveraging my experience. He saves time and pays me for this.
If you need immediate money, work as a freelancer for someone. You can learn a lot of skills through blogging that you can use to grab freelance projects. You can expect someone to pay once you have strong skills in writing, Wordpress management, design, SEO or social media.
Don’t expect training and money at the same time from your client. That’s not freelancing, that’s an apprenticeship. I made money through freelancing in my initial days when my blog was not making money.
- Don’t work on increasing traffic if you can optimise your existing blog to make more money from the same traffic (Hint: Better CTR, Better payout)
- Retarget your organic traffic on Facebook to sell something that people were looking for on your website.
- Find a partner who can sell better than you - to your same audience
- Replace the offers on your converting pages - to compare better revenue per click
You can also try selling physical products on your website. But it is a pain to maintain the inventory, manage logistics and returned products.
Remember that money will come in only when you will have relevant traffic, and when people want to buy something from you.
Keep working on your blogging business and keep making money.