While every blogger on the planet should first focus on serving the needs of their audience, it’s no surprise that many bloggers make a good income, doing what they are passionate about.
So, I was curious…just what IS bloggers favorite way to make money from home?
Why You Should Follow These Top Bloggers Favorite Ways to Earn Money
Seems like there are SOOOO many ways to make money blogging. And looking at various income reports online, including my own from last year, each blogger makes the bulk of their money in completely different ways.
It seems like there’s no set standard. No pattern of how we all make money. It really just depends on the blogger and what they like and feel comfortable doing combined with what their audience likes.
Not seeing any patterns in any income reports online, I decided to ask a bunch of pro-bloggers what their FAVORITE way to make money blogging is.
The cool thing is that NOW, I’m starting to see a pattern. I won’t spoil the surprise for you, but after reading these, can you see what one to two ways are so many pro-bloggers favorite?
Here’s the question I posed to them…
What is your favorite way to make money blogging and how have you personalized the idea so that it works even better for your brand?
My favorite way to earn money blogging is through product creation, but that’s NOT how I earn the most money from my blog. I earn the most through affiliate sales.
The reason I like product creation so much is because it’s MINE. It’s something that I can tailor to fit my readers needs PERFECTLY. And it’s something I can change if I want to (add more value or content to an eBook for example). My products are my heart. It’s where I feel the most comfortable and most transparent, because I can go so much more deeper than on a blog post.
Sarah Titus, SarahTitus.com
Affiliate marketing is my top and preferred income stream. Being a paying customer of the products I promote and showing my readers how to use them, not just that they should use them, have been two ways I’ve made affiliate marketing work well for me.
Amy Lynn Andrews, AmyLynnAndrews.com
My favorite way to monetize my blogs – and by far where most of income originates – is affiliate marketing. When I recommend a product or service and a reader clicks through my affiliate link I get paid. It’s very rare that I do reviews. Instead, I have a handful of products and services I can stand behind 100% as an affiliate that I promote over and over when appropriate. I also revisit my most popular posts regularly and update them with recommendations.
I’ve found the greatest success with being highly selective and repetitive in what I promote. It isn’t about grasping at straws or writing a million reviews of things you don’t care so much about. It’s about creating actionable, awesome content that is going to give readers what they are looking for now and hopefully take them on to the next step – the investment step. Regardless of the immediate return, you still have a great evergreen post that can live on forever. And if your recommendations are relevant and equally awesome, chances are good it’s going to start paying you back as it is shared and visited for years to come.
Angie Nelson, The Work at Home Wife
Affiliate Marketing has been my favorite way. It allows me to only promote and talk about products and services I love while earning more than banner ad networks. I have found that the key is to be completely transparent and honest about the products – showing the good and the bad – it goes a long way building trust with readers. Additionally, any time you can teach readers how to use the product, it often converts very well!
Bob Lotich, EfficientBlogging
If you’d asked me this question a month ago I might’ve had a different answer. For the last year I made building my subscriber list a priority. I did this mainly through writing posts I thought were relevant and then putting them out on Pinterest. I did all of the things bloggers are told to do in order to grow subscribers. Pinning, Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking, etc. Some things worked, but they were exhausting.
I had a subscriber goal I was hoping to meet and have come very close to that number. The year 2016 will be all about providing my subscribers with the things that they’ve asked me create. Since my blog is mainly DIY/Sewing focused I plan to write a few sewing patterns or maybe a short eBook on simple projects. I will be more focused on trying to glean from my subscribers exactly what they want ~ then I will turn around and provide it for them.
Leslie Rutland, The Seasoned Homemaker I would say my favorite way to make money blogging is through display ads. Display ads tend to get a bad rap but it’s where I make 90% of my income! I love them because they allow me to stay true to myself and my brand in my content. When I don’t have to worry about promoting a certain brand or product in my posts I get to create the content that I’m passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always thrilled to work with brands that I love and use on sponsored content but those kinds of opportunities don’t always pay the bills. I’m continuously grateful for the little ol’ display ad that allowed me to become a full-time blogger in the first place and that affords me the opportunity to do what I love on a daily basis.
Jill, One Good Thing By Jillee
My favorite way to make money blogging is with affiliate sales. It hit me a few months ago that I was completely ignoring the gold mine that is affiliate sales! It took me a while to find the right balance of how to seamlessly incorporate links without being too “in your face” about it. I’ve found that naturally linking to a product a few times throughout my post converts the best. After all, those are the kinds of links I myself click on!
There were two light bulb moments that helped me realize how I was completely missing out on this opportunity: a stream of emails from readers wanting to know where they could find a particular product and a post I read about bringing value to my readers. Part of the value I bring is helping fashion and beauty conscious moms find quality products they can incorporate into their wardrobe for years and years to come, as well as beauty products that get results. Being personal, giving them actual tips they can use and then linking to the products is the perfect formula of providing value and making money, all at the same time.
My favorite way to make money blogging would have to be through the creation of my own products. Affiliate sales are nice and sponsored posts can be fun, but there is nothing more gratifying than seeing people excited about and learning from something you’ve poured your whole heart and soul into!
When coming up with ideas for products, I really just try to listen to my readers’ requests and give them what they ask for– whether it’s organizational printables or a pretty planner to help them be more productive or an ebook packed with proven blogging strategies, all of these ideas stemmed from readers’ questions and requests. If you can meet a need for people and make their lives easier, they will be grateful and you gain another revenue stream, so it’s a win-win!
Abby, Just a Girl and Her Blog
While I like the passivity of affiliate marketing, I’ve always been a big fan of direct advertising. In fact, it’s how I first monetized my blog. The thing I like about direct ad sales is that I have 100% control over the process. I choose the companies I work with, how much to charge, and the types of ads that will run. Because the ball is in my court, I’m able to tailor the site’s advertising campaigns to companies that will speak to my audience — which is a win-win for all parties involved. I’m also able to provide a personalized level of customer service to my advertisers — which cultivates and nurtures the relationship further.
Holly Hanna, The Work at Home Woman
My favorite way to make money blogging is to take part in affiliate marketing. In the past few months, I have been able to significantly increase my monthly online income by publishing honest reviews of products and services that I use and recommend. Currently, I am earning around $30,000 a month online (you can see my monthly income reports here ), with around $20,000 of it coming from affiliate marketing.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, Making Sense of Cents
My favorite stream of blog income is affiliate sales. It actually sounds crazy to me to hear myself say “sales” and “favorite” in the same sentence. I am anything but a saleswoman! In fact, on my blog I’m usually encouraging people not to spend money! Of course there are some products and services that I use and adore, so naturally I want to tell everyone about them. Instead of being sales-y though, I can just be myself and talk about what I love and what works for me.
Since I’m careful to only promote products and services that I truly love, it’s easy to incorporate affiliate links into my normal posts. For example, I share my family’s journey to paying off six figures of student loan debt, which includes lots of open talk about our budget. It’s completely natural to tell my readers about our budgeting software, which happens to have a referral program. I include tutorials and tips to show how we budget with it and why we absolutely love it. I constantly have readers thanking me for leading them to an awesome product!
Stephanie, Six Figures Under
My favorite way to make money is to create something that is yours. Perhaps it is a book or a printable. Maybe you have even made a tangible product. Whatever it is, you have the rights to it and you can sell it for however much you think it is worth. The reason that I encourage everyone to create a product is because even if your blog should fail, you can still hold onto this and sell it in other areas online. I personally love to write books and have had a lot of success with them. This is a great place to start!
Becky Mansfield, Your Modern Family
My favorite way to make money blogging is through product sales because I am helping someone through the mission that God has called me to – helping others learn how to better manage their money.
I’ve personalized my brand by cultivating a community around the idea of “living a real life on a budget” by sharing my family’s budgeting adventures – the successes and failures. By allowing others to view how one family struggles and succeeds with money, I’m able to encourage and inspire others to make managing their money a priority.
Jessi, The Budget Mama
Although there are a lot of different ways to make money blogging, my favorite way is through selling my own products and services. I have tried a handful methods of earning money from my blogs throughout the last couple of year. I can say that creating products has been hands down my favorite because it allows me a lot more freedom while I am also helping my readers.
I like to create resources that will assist in making their life easier. Instead of promoting other products and companies that will lead people away from my blog I am able to offer them high-value resources while maintaining my voice and staying consistent with my business objectives.
Addi, Simply Blogging Along
Affiliate income is my favorite way to earn money as a blogger, and recently I’ve been able to increase it substantially by promoting helpful eCourses. As someone whose blog is 100 percent focused on home-based income opportunities, this is a win-win for me. My readers get to buy quality products that teach them the money-making skills they are looking for, and then I receive the affiliate income as thanks for promoting the courses on my blog by the course creator.
One way that I’ve personalized this for my brand is by creating a stand-alone page that is linked inside my navigation bar that only lists helpful eCourses I’m familiar with and would promote. My regular readers already know that my nav bar is the place to go to find most of the helpful info on my site (as is the case with most blogs), so the page fits right in and gets plenty of traffic. The page is informational and helpful rather than just another advertisement, even though my affiliate links are throughout the page — making it a very effective way to continue to earn income from the promotion of eCourses.
When I started to monetize the blog, I dreaded doing sponsored posts and almost decided to not do them at all. Shockingly, sponsored posts are my favorite source of income now. I used to view sponsored posts as “selling out” and basically writing an ad that your readers are almost tricked into reading.
I was so wrong! I do sponsored posts now by hunting down companies that can save my readers money or offer a huge benefit for someone struggling with time management. I give them the idea that I want to write about and offer to do a sponsored post well below the “normal” rate for my reach and pageviews. By charging less, I can meet the marketing budget of almost every company I want to work with, but I retain a lot of control over the post as compared with networks. I write my sponsored posts the same way I write regular posts with the aim to gain traffic with it. I have 2 sponsored posts that are in my top 10 most re-pinned pins on Pinterest. By writing the posts under my terms, I can more than make up my “low” rate with ad earnings to that post and can have more stable income from sponsored posts (I’m at about $ 1,200/month from sponsors right now).
Rosemarie, The Busy Budgeter Diversify. Diversify. Diversify. The more streams of income you have, the more monetarily secure your blog. For example, I have over 50 ways I’m making money on my blog each month or year… and I’m always looking for more.
Besides getting multiple streams of income, I highly recommend periodically looking over your income data—in great detail. Base many decisions on what is working for you monetarily and what isn’t. Just be sure to not shift your main focus from high quality content to money making. Without content there would not be income.
Anita Fowler, Live Like You Are Rich
If you’re keeping score, this is what the totals look like:
Affiliate Products: 7
Your OWN Products: 6
Sponsored Posts: 1
As you can see, affiliate products came in at #1.
I have to admit, that I didn’t really take affiliate products too seriously until this year. Most of my focus my first year blogging was all about ads, and I gotta say, I rocked them. My blog gets over a million in traffic and I earn over $5,000 in ads alone each month. However, I’m not a big ad fan. So, this year, my second year blogging, as I moved more into affiliate sales, I had the increase in income and to benefit my readers, I cut half the ads off my site! I feel like ads can get out of hand quickly and can really overtake a site quickly if not kept in check.
In fact, I am working on one day, having a completely ad-free site altogether. The ads that I do have now are fantastic companies, ones that I trust and that I’m glad to work with. This means, yes, I’ve cut my ads income in half, but I feel it’s worth it. I want my reader to feel comfortable here, not screamed at to buy something or click something and if they are going to click, I’d rather it be MY product or one I’m partnering with that I KNOW 100% it’s a good product. I can’t control 100% of my ads. Call me a control freak, but I don’t like that! LOL.
Affiliate income has become huge for me this year, and I see that many other pro-bloggers are loving it too.
I have to wonder….have you put forth the time and energy into making an income in affiliate sales? I can tell you that since I’ve put more time and energy into it, I am seeing MASSIVE results.
At the start of this year, I was making $1,300/month in affiliate sales. This month, I’m on track to make a hair under $16,000 JUST in affiliate sales this month!
If you’re anything like me, the first question you’re going to ask is, “What’s the biggest thing you’ve done all year to increase it by that much?” I’m sure you’d want to know where to spend your time for the biggest reward.
My answer would be there’s not one thing. It’s not one silver bullet. It’s layering. It’s a mind shift. It’s a bunch of small things I’ve done each month that have increased a little more, and a little more, and a little more. Kind of like a caterpillar. Small steps, but a year from now, you’ll look back and do a double take!
Now, I’m not saying most bloggers make that, I’ve worked REALLY hard on making my affiliate sales ROCK this year. What I AM saying is that it is ABSOLUTELY worth your time and I want to help!
I’ve created a couple things for you to help YOU rock your affiliate sales as well. Some of it may be things you’ve heard before, but it’s time to take it seriously! It’s time to do the steps you already know about and there are several tricks you don’t know that you NEED to be doing A.sap!
The first step is reading this post here, Why You’re Not Making Enough Money in Affiliate Sales and What To Do About It.
The second step is to apply all that you learn in that article. I’ve created a free eBook about all the affiliate programs I’ve found that you can apply to your own site, which you can access here by signing up for my newsletter, There are a lot of different categories in there from recipes to parenting products to printables or ebooks. Just go through the list and see what applies to your blog and what you can add in.
What I’ve personally done, is make a goal of signing up for 1-2 new affiliate companies each month. I’ve started with the biggest potential of earnings companies first, then I’ve worked my way down to what my readers are most interested in, and I’m currently working on the rest. All the while, I keep finding more and more companies to join that have great programs.
And just in case you’re very new to affiliates and don’t know too much about what they are or how to make money from them, I’ve created a post for you as well, How to Get Started Making Money with Affiliate Marketing.
The second thing that ranked highest in pro-bloggers favorite way to make money blogging is creating their own products. I would also agree with this. It’s a FANTASTIC way to earn income. Something that no one can take away from you because it’s YOURS. And since you know your audience best, you can create products that are 100% perfect to suit their needs. I touched lightly on products toward the end of my second year blogging and moving into my third year, products is what this year will be all about! There are so many ideas I have, so many things I want to release, and so many needs I want to meet. I can’t meet all the needs fast enough.
As my product earnings get higher and higher, I can begin to drop ads off my site. I’m praying this works out for me, so that by 2017, my site will be ad-free, or at least super close.
I also want to get back into coaching. Coaching this year really kicked my behind. Once I opened it up early this year, I was completely FLOODED with sales. I began limiting how many bloggers I could help and began a wait list.
After a while, my wait list was 3 months out and still growing. I had to stop. I finished up what I could and ended up stopping the coaching altogether. Although I loved it, it became too much for me to handle. I did NOT anticipate so many sales. I just kind of rolled into it. I didn’t have a plan or anything; it just happened. I mentioned it in one Facebook group that I would help someone and it spread like wildfire from there.
BUT, my heart is in coaching. I’m passionate about helping others and get emails all the time about how I helped them triple their income or their husbands were able to quit their job and come home too. Knowing that I played a small piece of that, truly, it’s very rewarding. So that’s definitely the direction I’m going, but not for a long time, and not without a PLAN! 🙂
What about you? Where are you on this list? Have you seen the potential, the power of affiliate sales or creating your own products to make money online? Have you begun taking them more seriously or just doing it on the side? Have you started and are now ROCKING it? Let me know. I’d love to hear where you are and what YOUR favorite way of earning money blogging is!
Although we’ve talked quite a bit about money today, never forget, people first, money last…