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5 Ways to Make Money Blogging (Once You Have Traffic)

This is the last post in our series of tips for bloggers who have gone through their launch phase and want to grow their blog to the next level. In it we’re going to talk making money from your blog.

Making Money From a Blog – Moving Past AdSense

While it is possible to make some money with a blog of any size – your chances of earning income from a blog do generally increase as you increase your readership numbers.

Many bloggers start out monetizing their blogs using ad networks like AdSense. While ad networks like AdSense can still earn you a nice income as your blog grows (many large blogs use them) – an increased audience will also open new opportunities to you as a blogger.

1. Direct Ad Sales

One thing that becomes possible as your readership grows is that you can begin to attract your own direct advertisers. I’ve written on this topic numerous times before so rather than writing a long tutorial on the topic let me point you to some previous posts:

2. Ad Representation

Many bloggers struggle to sell advertising on their own blogs. Most bloggers are not experienced in the area of ad sales, don’t have contacts in the advertising industry, are unaware of how much to charge or even what technology to use to serve ads. Most of us also are passionate about writing content and building community – the admin of finding and interacting with advertisers can often be a distraction.

One alternative once you have a reasonable amount of traffic is to outsource your ad sales. Some blog networks and ad networks will handle this kind of thing for you once you have enough traffic. Generally you need a fair bit of traffic for them to look at you but in these tough economic times I suspect we’ll see more and more services to do this.

3. Start Your Own Ad Sales Network

One thing that I’ve been hearing more and more bloggers doing is joining together to sell advertising as a collective or network within a niche. You might not have enough traffic to attract a top tier advertiser alone – but what if you joined with 4-5 other medium sized blogs in your niche and approached advertisers together?

4. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can work on blogs of all sizes but once a blog has an engaged and loyal readership it can really pay off. Readers that have tracked with you for a while are more likely to buy something that you recommend than a one off visitor – so this is a particularly useful strategy if you have built a ‘community’ rather than just a blog that has a lot of search traffic. The key is to find products to promote that are of a high quality that you can genuinely recommend and that have high relevance to your readership.

Further Reading: 5 Tips for Making Money with Affiliate Programs

5. Sell Your Own Product

Another monetization strategy to start thinking about once you start seeing growth in your readership is your own product to sell.

Whether that product be an e-book, a membership area, a real hard cover book, training (online or real life), consulting, merchandise…. once you’ve got a loyal readership who trusts you and sees you as an expert in your field you’ll find that they are increasingly likely to buy something that you sell.

You’ll also find it easier to get other blogs in your niche to promote your product once you’ve build a blog with profile. I’m seeing more and more bloggers doing this and suspect that as advertising budgets get smaller in the current economic climate that we’ll see more and more of this type of approach (I’ve previously called it ‘indirect income’) by smart bloggers.

Further Reading: Making Money BECAUSE of Your Blog – Indirect Methods.

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. Darren:

    Straightforward advice and much appreciated. I like your “tell it like it is” approach.

  2. I am thinking of starting affiliate marketing. I am a newbie so i guess ill do many trial and error stuff.

  3. I do not have much traffic. So what to do?

    Well nevertheless this post is useful especially when it is honest and does say that you need traffic to earn money. Darren would you mind giving some tips for traffic.

  4. Thanks Darren for the ideas.

    @FSK: Adbrite is a good option for adsense.


  5. I think clicking an ad just to get back at Google is immature and a waste of time.

    If you’re looking to make your blog your business, you can’t take failure personally. It’s not good business.

    There are MANY other ways to get advertising for your blog if you have the audience.

    Good luck.

  6. Thanks for these great tips. As someone getting ready to launch a blog, I’ve found this series really helpful.

  7. if we we great content, sponsor will come to us :), thx for the tips :)

  8. I’m still trying to drive traffic to my blog at the moment, I think I’m going to feel a bit guilty putting Ads on my site but even if I only make enough to cover the hosting and domain renewal I’ll be happy for the first year. :) It’s a long road ahead.

  9. Well the first question that came to my mind is how to get the traffic on your blog, because only after that one can make money by blogging.

  10. I am seriously thinking of no.3 step you wrote above….nice and “rich” article

  11. Great advice as usual. We have started considering ideas for trying to offer some of our own products on our blog.


  12. Really helpful advise. I have often wondered about this. I guess it takes time to build of a following, but it is good to know all of the different outlets there are for (potentially) making money once you gain popularity!
    Melissa Erb

  13. “Start Your Own Ad Sales Network”

    This is actually a really good idea. I am going to try this and see what kind of participation I can get.

  14. My site only has adsense. I guess because it’s the easliest to put on my site. Thanks for the article as I am always tooking for more revenue streams.

  15. I already join adsense for several months but the result still growing slowly. hopeful these tips can increase my monthly income…thank you so much

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