How to Make Money Blogging: The Long and Winding Road

Brent Pittman —  09/28/2012
Long and Winding Road

Blogging is a long and winding road. Credit Anthony Stanley.

It’s easy to make money blogging right? Bloggers just play on the Internet all day while sipping their grande lattes at Starbucks and watch the money roll in.

It’s not as easy as some make it out to be, Making money with your blog takes an investment of time and energy. Yes, it can be done, but it’s hard–trust me!

I am starting to see a trickle of income from various sources, but only after having written 200+ articles. It takes time, work, friends, patience, and of course an audience–thats you!

Blogging is about helping others and forming a community; the money is visible proof you’re doing a good job.

How Do Professional Bloggers Make Money?

This is a complex question whole websites are dedicated towards. I’ll only touch on a few subjects and share resources that have helped myself and others make money blogging.

Content Really is King

Without words on a page and a compelling message to share it’s highly unlikely you’ll make money blogging. Find a topic, a cause, a community, a niche and start educating and helping others master your subject of expertise.

Resources for Writing and Content:

Affiliate Programs: The Trickle of Gold 

Affiliate programs pay a certain amount if you refer clients or leads to their website or help them sell a product. Almost all companies have an affiliate program of some sort. This can be very lucrative for niche sites with a large interactive audience.

Affiliate programs I use:

  • Amazon Associates– You’ll make commission off sales from books, clothing, to almost any product sold. A must to have in your toolkit.
  • Google Affiliate Network – This is a newer affiliate program, but many major companies like Target have joined. With Google’s muscles they’ll only grow with time.
  • Commission Junction– Start here since it is one of the oldest and largest affiliate programs around.
  • Flex Offers– They represent a a wide array of advertisers not carried by Commission Junction.
  • 48 Days.Net – Affiliate Program for Dan Miller.
  • E-Junkie.com– Affiliate program I participate in for @8bit products like my Premium WordPress Theme (Standard Theme).

Sell Ads, Banner ads, and Evil Pop-ups

These are the billboards of the interwebs. Some blink, others play movies, others pop up before you can even click on the site–evil indeed.

Ads assist the content to keep flowing and the advertisers to sell their products and ideas. Beware of overdoing the ads and distracting the reader from doing their main job(s)–reading and connecting.

The above affiliate programs will also have banner ads to add to the sidebar or to the header or footer of your site.

Platforms to sell ads on your blog: 

Google Adsense– This is the most common system to implement. You’ll be able to ad ads to individual articles and anywhere on your site.

Beacon Ads– Advertising network for church and Christian websites.

BuySellAds Large platform to sell ad space.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as many platforms exists for various niche sites.

Create Products and Coaching Services

If you have a platform and an audience. This is a great opportunity to create a product or a service to meet the needs of your readers. This is where many bloggers make money since they’ve established themselves as experts in their field.

  • E-books
  • Online Courses or Teleconferences.
  • Workshops
  • Personalized Coaching
  • Speaking Events

Text Links and Sponsored Posts: Beware

The practice of being paid for text links isn’t as popular as it used to be since Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, which penalize suspected paid text links. Blog more than 5 minutes and you’ll receive emails wanting to place ads and text links on your site.

This is a controversial subject on which there are many warnings to discontinue this once lucrative practice.

Books to Understand Blogging and Monetize Your Site

More Articles for Making Money Blogging

You can make money blogging, but it will take time. Don’t focus on the money, but helping others and creating a community. Blessings on your blogging journey.

Do you have experience making money online? What resources helped you along the way? 

The above may contain affiliate links in which I am compensated. See my Disclosure Policy for more info. 

Related posts:

Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
  • Mine has only begun to kick in…. $.25 here and there. Guess where I found your comment?..yep in jail, even after I’ve already white listed you.

    • AverageJoe

      Man! I can’t win this battle. Right now I’m trying to recover my pic…this commenting thing has gotten out of hand.

      The only time I make money via Amazon is when I buy something myself. It’s like my own site discount.

  • Great resource. And your exactly correct that you need to focus on content and community over making money. Get those two right and the money will come. Ignore them in favor of trying to make a buck and you won’t make that dollar either.

    • I’ve ignored quite a few emails about paying for text links…giving up the quick dollar in favor of longevity.

  • Brent, you managed to pack a lot of good information here! I loved reading the
    “How to Make
    Money with a Blog- Christian PF” article – it helped me out very early on in blogging and is something I return to often.
    I can’t wait to someday sell products on my site!

    • Awesome, I tried to only include helpful resources.

  • Helpful info. I use Amazon Affiliate ads on my site and am able to make a little extra spending money but my goal is to create an ebook. I think that is one of the best ways to generate substantial income.

    • I’ve been thinking about an ebook myself, but nothing solid in the works…yet.

  • Brent, Really comprehensive article with lots of good ideas.

  • krantcents

    Thanks for the information, I never knew Google had an affiliate site.