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10 Ways to Make Money BECAUSE of Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 30th of August 2008 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

What if I told you that there’s a way to make money as a result of your blog where you don’t need to have a single ad on your blog, where you don’t have to run any affiliate programs and where you don’t have to write any paid reviews?

Would you be interested?

Make-Money-Because-Of-Your-BlogImage by iDream_in_Infrared

Much is written about how bloggers make money through selling advertising space or running affiliate programs on their blogs. However there’s a second, somewhat hidden, group of bloggers who make a great living not directly from their blogs – but indirectly as a result of them.

Instead of using their traffic to sell advertising or promote products to earn commissions from – they leverage the traffic to their blog in another way – usually to sell themselves.

Today I want to highlight 10 ways of making money BECAUSE of your blog – as opposed to making money directly from it via advertising, paid reviews or affiliate programs.

1. Consulting

The blogger consultant model is simple. You give away information generously on your given topic and then sell your services to help people apply your teaching to their personal situation with some personal attention from you.

Bloggers who also act as consultants generally charge for their time by the hour, but I’ve also come across some who have landed ongoing consulting work in their field of expertise and have been signed up on retainer by companies.

Some might think that it’s just bloggers who blog about blogging who pick up consulting work (I’ve done my fair share) but it’s not the case. I’ve met dating bloggers, marketing bloggers, photography bloggers, craft bloggers and more who all offer their services in coaching, mentoring and training their readers one on one.

2. Book Authorship

It is becoming more and more common for bloggers to be approached by book publishers to write books. Chris and I were approached to write ProBlogger the Book by Wiley, Gina from Lifehacker landed a 2 book deal, Frank from Post Secret has done numerous books, Steve Pavlina has one coming out soon…. the list goes on and on. Sometimes book are heavily based upon the blog itself – other times the book is completely new.

3. Speaking

Bloggers spend day in and day out writing content for their blogs and so for many it is not too much of a stretch to translate the principles that they are writing about into verbal sessions at conferences or other public speaking opportunities.

Often these sorts of speaking engagements are not for any kind of payment but once you build your profile in a niche the paid opportunities do come along for many – particularly when you’re asked to speak in-house for companies or organizations.

4. Training

There’s some overlap here with ‘speaking’ as in many instances speakers are engaged in a training capacity – but some bloggers also take the ‘training’ that they do in another direction and run their own training courses for readers. They leverage the traffic that they have do direct people to training either online (membership sites) or even offline into real life training events.

One blogger who I’ve seen do this really well is David Hobby from Strobist who has successfully run a variety of real life training events on his niche (photography lighting). He’s also done spin off DVDs of the training which he sells.

5. Freelance Writing

I’ve had many approaches for this myself and see quite a few other bloggers land this type of work. Their profile and expertise on a blog leads other websites, blogs, magazines, newspapers etc to ask them to contribute in a paid capacity.

This might be a newspaper column, a regular staff writer role or even a one off paid contribution.

6. Selling Services

Once you establish a readership on a topic other opportunities can arise to sell a variety of services from your blog. Here at ProBlogger I added a job board (something many blogs have done), Blogger Timothy Sykes makes tens of thousands a month with an ‘stock market alerts’ service, Shoemoney is introducing ‘Shoemoney Tools‘ (a great resource for bloggers actually – I’ve been playing with it the last few days).

Another example is Kevin from Real Lawyers have blogs who offers lawyers and law firms a blogging solution.

7. Selling E-Resources

Again – there’s some cross over here with some of the above but it’s something that we’ve seen a lot of bloggers doing (or attempting to do) of late with the creation of ebooks, membership sites, tools and software that relate to their niche.

8. Landing ‘Real’ Jobs

One of the great things about starting a blog that builds your profile and perceived expertise in an industry is that others in that industry begin to see you as an attractive addition to their staff.

I’ve seen a number of bloggers write about this over the years – Steve Rubel is one that comes to mind as someone who became very well known in the PR industry and was head hunted by a PR firm as a result of his blogging.

9. Finding Business Customers and Clients

Another indirect income earner that many bloggers tap into is leveraging their blog’s profile to send find new clients and send new business to their offline companies.

In a sense their blog becomes like an advertisement to their company’s products and services.

There are literally thousands of ‘business blogs’ who do this. The key is not to make the blog purely a sales pitch or marketing device but to make it a destination of value to readers and to let this sell you and your business.

What’s Number 10?

Every week I ‘meet’ (virtually) bloggers who are making money from their blogs in ways that I’d never considered before. There are certainly some creative people out there coming up with some innovative ways to build blogs into income streams.

So I’m leaving #10 in this list up to you. What other ‘indirect’ ways of making money from blogs do you do or see others doing? I’d love to see examples of any of the methods above or any other that I might have missed. Can’t wait to read your number 10s!

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Most bloggers wouldn’t agree, Darren. In fact, if they wanted to do freelancing or their own jobs, they would never have started blogging Right?

    For me, I still make some bucks through freelancing, and until I get my blog to be another Professional blog, it will be my sole source of income. I hope the blog will be a professional blog one day.

    You remember me, I hope. I am the person who took your interview.


  2. Tip #8 rings true for me — I was recently hired by a local TV station to be the “online content producer,” and all of the hiring execs pointed to my blog as an example of what they hired me for.

  3. my blog is hardly 2 month old (i get 500/600 unique visitors though) so right now i am not showing any ads on my blog. so cant say much about making money online

    but i would like to read how my other fellow bloggers are making money online.

  4. I think some bloggers use a blog both direct and indirectly to generate income. I know personally i’m not into the wrtting aspect of blogging but more of the back end of it.

    Its funny you mention book authorship because a friend of mine who write books wants to go online now instead of publishing books because its cheaper.

  5. It would be great if any of the 10 ways that you mention come true for me. that will be the day I can safely quit my day job. I’m still learning how to make money both directly/ indirectly from my blog.

  6. I totally agree with #8. Landing ‘Real’ Jobs. Because of work that I had done on my mommy group/blog, I was hired as a paid parenting guide for BabyZone/ParentZone.

    Currently, I’m focusing on building up other paid writing and speaking opportunities.

  7. I would say #10 could be creating products to sell that harmonize with your blog – such as training DVDs. Great post!

  8. These tips are great, One day when I can afford it I plan to find me a nice spot to give classes on setting up a website, internet marketing and blogging. My target will be all the people who only use their computer for solitaire. :) I talk to a lot of people who have computers but don’t know that they can make money from it.

  9. Wonderful! This is exactly why I blog – I am a VA and so my income comes from selling my services. I use my blog to get name recognition, to make contacts and friends and to educate potential clients about how I could help them grow their business.
    I disagree with Lenin’s comment that most bloggers would disagree – I know many bloggers who blog to assist their business, not just to be a business in and of itself.

  10. #10 – create a product based on your expertise and sell it. Could be an eBook, audio product, video tutorials (like we have done with Expert WordPress) – you imagination is the only stopping point.

    In this case your blog serves as a front end to your product, establishes your right to speak on the subject and front end for sales and prospects capture to related mail lists.

    Alex Sysoef

  11. Nice list, there are so many ways to make money from blogging other than advertising, as there are only a # of blogs that will fall in the top of each Niche that will beable to capture the advertising dollars. You always need to keep your options open as you may have started Blogging to make money and if another opportunity presents itself you should think long and hard about it. YOu might have also started bogging simply as an outlet, and while the money’s great it isn’t your sole income.

  12. Great article. A blog is an essential element to personal branding online and as you show, there are many great options for monetizing your traffic while sharing value with others.

  13. Great article, I certainly have a lot to think about as I come closer to the launch of my new blog.

  14. Great Post. I think this is something that is lost with all the “Make Money with your Blog” articles, ebooks and videos flying around right now. I recently started a blog knowing that most of the value I would net would be in relationships and new opportunities much more than direct income on the site.

  15. While not money, I notice many entertainment bloggers using their sites as vehicles to obtain press passes for conventions and various movie-related events. This is certainly true for the Aint It Cool, JoBlo or CinemaBlend founders.

    I have also noticed some tech review bloggers mentioning receiving free gifts from companies for exposure on their sites. John Chow has made mention of that for his blog thetechzone.

    It seems a good course of action is to identify your niche, identify the players involved, and segue your blog’s identity into getting access to places the average person would not have the chance of going.

  16. Right on….I’ve been hired a few times by publishers looking for professional reviews of book content prior to publishing….

  17. I blog first and foremost as a form of expression. The idea that there are a myriad of ways for me to make money doing this thing that I love so much is like the most awesome gift from heaven for me! I look forward to the day when I will be able to earn enough through my passion to leave my day job and spend my days like I am right now; barefoot in my jeans listening to my daughter play while I gaze lovingly upon my monitor and keyboard in cybernetic bliss ;-)

  18. Great post, Darren!

    I’m planning to enact all of these – except the so-called “real” job one – because I want the freedom of not working for anyone else!

  19. Some bloggers sell merchandise related their site. At CuteOverload.com, their daily calender sold out on Amazon within a day. Other bloggers use sites like Cafe Press or Zazzle to sell shirts, coffee cups or even shoes with funny graphics or slogans from their blogs. I suppose this is similar to writing a book in that you’re selling a product connected to your blog.

  20. I am looking to the points you made as the main source of revenue from my blog. The authority I build there is worth more than the little bit I would get from ads.

    In addition, I’m investigating ebooks and similar products.

    Chris Garrett is a prime example of the use of your blog to build name recognition and authority.

  21. thanks for the mention mate!

  22. I’ve found the ad system to be completely ineffective on my video blog, as it seems my site visitors are too ‘web-aware’. However, I have started having some success selling DVD and Quicktime downloads of my video tutorials, and I’m hoping to branch out with some other products related to bicycle repair… we’ll see how this goes. It certainly seems that bloggers will have to start getting creative with ways to monetize their niche as the ‘ad-blindness’ grows…

    Good luck!

  23. Consulting and services is a great way to make a living, but you have to stop thinking of yourself as a blogger and start thinking from the point of view of a business person. Creating a successful business that attracts paying clients through a blog is a different game altogether than the monetized blogging Darren writes so well about here.

  24. Hmm, I guess I am doing things backwards. I covered most of the things on the list before I started blogging. After a major setback I am attempting to revitalize my career through those avenues.

    I can’t help but blog and am experimenting as I grow more experienced.

    Since I live in a rural area it also helps me feel connected.

  25. Nice one Darren..

    I feel that one can only benefit from a blog IF the person can somehow show credibility through their posts and much they enjoy their blogging. If it’s only to earn money, then lots more work is required. Because talent can’t be bought, but yes skills can be polished..

  26. I have a blog / vlog all about learning the Japanese language and culture. I’ve been building it up for about a year, but haven’t made any large amount of income directly from it (usually between $200-$400 a month). Certainly not enough to live off of, especially if I want to pay for wonderful things like the Internets. Other than that, I’ve been doing odd jobs – some web design, some manual labor, some customer service for a website…definitely not enough to live comfortably, though.

    Just recently (yesterday, officially), I decided that I’d start tutoring Japanese online. I have had a lot of people ask for tutoring, but I’ve always denied them in the past, since I was looking for other things to do. Then, my friend told me about eduFire, a website that lets you tutor people in any language you want (and they only take a 15% cut, which is nice). I decided to give it a shot, and announced it on Youtube / my website. Now, I have around 30 sessions scheduled over the next week, and at $25 a lesson (minus $3.75 for edufire, I think?), that’s not too bad for a recent college graduate who couldn’t get a job for the last three months.

    This is kind of like consulting, I suppose, but it is more specific to my niche. So far, I’m really enjoying it, too! Really, it’s thanks to blogs like this one that I’m able to figure out ways to make an income via my blog, even though you don’t directly say “go teach people your language.” It’s a good guide for thinking about blogging and how it should and can be done. Thank you ProBlogger! :)

  27. This is actually a great idea, but I gotta get more knowledgable first about blogging and the whole yadda yadda yadda before I step my game up to that level…:-)


  28. This is one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place. I want to draw attention to the concierge services company I am starting in the next few months. If I can also earn some income from affiliate ads that would be icing on the cake.

  29. The best jobs often come through connections. What easier way to initiate contact with the rest of the globe than by starting a blog and communicating with your readers?

    Solid post. I’ve made more money BECAUSE of my blog, rather than with it. Couple that with my passion for the medium, and I’m in for the long haul.

  30. Great post!

    Most of us try our best to make a buck with adsense and all the rest of it. This article is a much needed reminder, saying that there are other ways to make use of traffic…

  31. Inspiring post!

    Most of us try our best to make a buck with adsense and all the rest of it.

    This article is a much needed pointer, reminding us that there are other ways to work with traffic…

  32. Nice list and a great reminder that there’s more to making money online than ads and affiliate links.

    I currently make a living from my home and garden blog (along with some smaller sites), and a lot of the income comes from Adsense. I’m planning to redesign the site to include a marketplace (HGTV has something like this on their site) where merchants can buy pages devoted to their site/products (kind of a virtual stall) for a yearly fee. Sort of a fancy directory. Based on the number of requests I get to buy links (I don’t currently sell them), I’m cautiously optimistic about the plan. :)

    And here’s my suggestion for finishing off the list above:

    10. Subscriptions to Premium Content

    You mentioned membership sites, but I know a real estate writer who uses his site (full of guru reviews and informational articles) as a way to get people to subscribe to a physical newsletter that arrives in the mail. I think it’s around $100 a year to subscribe, so I’m sure he does pretty well with that.

  33. I agree with the idea of products as payment. I have received a great deal of things completely free in exchange for a review. I always clarify that I will only write honest opinions, and that I won’t write how wonderful something is if I didn’t like it but so far no one has balked at that.

    I’ve gotten many great things that way – including a photo printer! – that I didn’t have to pay for.

    I make little money from my personal blog – it’s freelancing as a professional blogger for several niche blogs on blog networks that make my money for me.

  34. #10: Blog posts, if they’re true, personal anecdotes, can be submitted to fieldreport.com for their writing contests. Cash prizes!

  35. Nice list. It’s taken me a while to realize that the income and benefits from blogging truly come from a mix that hopefully ads up to an attractive total! I’m trying to think “out of the box” these days and this post is good inspiration.

  36. Here’s #10 for me… teaching.

    Although I’ve been teaching writing for around 20 years, my blogs have extended my teaching, mentoring and coaching services in ways I could never have predicted when I started my first blog way back in 2002.

    I started that first blog as an experiment on Blogger. I had no idea where it would lead.

    Blogging is an incredible journey. Not only do you discover new things about yourself every day, you also find more ways to use your skills to help others.

    I’m addicted to blogging because it’s instant gratification – I write, and within a minute or two, my words can be read by people all over the world.

    A blog gives you incredible power. How will YOU make money because of your blog? You’ll discover your own hidden resources when you blog; this is what makes blogging so fascinating and addictive. :-)

  37. I started my blog to meet all of your first 7 and the 9th reason. I’m already an author and a consultant with just over 2000 signed up members on my static site. My blog went live this week and I’ve had over 800 visits in week 1alone. I’m only mentioning this success because I read your ProBlogger book on a flight from Singapore 3 weeks ago and now it’s a reality. I’m living your advice and it works. With viral marketing alone I intend to have a community of about 5000 unique visitors by Christmas – just in time for my next DVD releases. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience. This sharing of valuable information will drive traffic to my blog too. I owe you a pint :-)

  38. Great post, Darren! I agree with Bryan in that the main reason I blog is to deepen relationships and grow rapport within my community. (But selling product and a little bit of ad revenue doesn’t hurt my feelings, either.)

    It also makes my coaching more efficient because I don’t have to retell a story that I’m using to make a point during a session with a client!


  39. This is all good and well, i think alot of bloggers know about this, but the problem most bloggers ahve is getting targetted traffic….

  40. Other than maybe selling an ebook, I prefer the idea of indirectly monetizing my blog through advertising. There’s just something more appealing about not having to work directly with a company to make money. Though, a mix of both is probably ideal in the long run.

  41. #5 worked WONDERS for me. It will continue to do so, methinks. This stuff builds on itself. Pretty amazing, really.

  42. Darren, you are far too modest.

    Folks, the 10th way to make money BECAUSE of your blog is to read and read some more and keep reading more of Darren’s wise (yet simple enough that anyone can replicate) advice on problogger.net.

    Need I say more?

  43. Number ten would be my profitable niche blog for selling human organs online. Can you spare a kidney?

  44. One thing I love about blogging is the new people I meet virtually almost every day. All kinds of money making collaborations can come when creative people start talking.

  45. These all make perfect sense but unfortunately for me I do not fit into any of those categories. Maybe one day someone may recognize my raw talent and offer me a ‘real’ job, but then it will have to pay me a whole lot more than what I am earning now with my current one.

    Until then I will just keep blogging merrily away, having fun and enjoying earning what I do whilst doing it.

  46. Book writing and freelance writing appeal to me the most at the moment. Has anyone here given away portions of their writings as free ebooks to market the fully paid product? Would love to hear about it if you have.

  47. I have owned my website for some years and now it has about 600 visitors each day. I only run some making money program over website, like selling link and running adsense program. But I am trying to run the other making money online programs like what you have mentioned, thank you for the information

  48. Timely post, as this subject has been on mind a great deal lately.

    #10 Create a new business venture as a result of a pain you are suffering in your blog business that no one is solving.

    I have been experiencing a particular frustration with advertising for quite a long time now, and have looked high and low for a solution that will help me in the way I need. I’ve tried dozens, but no cigar. I see a biz opp and will seize it as I have no doubt that I am not the only one with my issue. Exciting times to be an entrepreneur :)

  49. #10- Monetize your visitors through metacafe, revver, or best as a Youtube Partner which pays you for your uploaded videos on view count,etc. I mean, if your blog gets over 1000+ visitors per day, you can upload videos to these sites and embed the video on your blog. The visitors combined with your subscribers are going to hit the play button. This will increase your videos view count which will help your video to make it to the front page of these sites bringing more viewers and more revenue.
    However, the video should be related to the blog.Eg. For a stock market related blog, video tutorial on how to do trading will be suitable.

  50. Good One Darren..

    My blog is One year old but I make very less money compared to other bloggers of my niche. I have been building up my network and it is helping a lot to improve my income.

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