When I was a kid I used to “write books.” I would illustrate a storyboard first, then I would narrate the story to my parents as they wrote the words next to my illustrations. I thought for sure that I would be an author when I grew up, and that never really changed until I reached my junior year of high school.
While I chose not to be an author, I still enjoy writing and deciding that it might be fun to start a blog.
Like all good hobbies, blogging can be even more fun if you’re earning a little money. If you also enjoy writing and getting paid (and who doesn’t love getting paid?), read on to learn how you can make money by blogging!
Option 1: Start your own blog
1. Put AdSense on it
The first thing you’ll want to do when deciding to monetize your blog is set up a passive stream of income. One of the easiest ways to do this is by signing up for Google AdSense. If you’re using Google’s Blogger as your blogging platform, it’s relatively easy. However, if you use Wordpress, Squarespace or some other platform, AdSense will give you a piece of code that you can place anywhere you want on your site.
The best part about AdSense is that Google takes care of finding ads that are related to your blog’s content as well as the financial stuff. Simply log into your AdSense account to withdraw your earnings!
2. Use referral programs
While this won’t necessarily earn you money directly, it can score you discounts on products that you are already buying or using! Many popular apps such as Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and Airbnb have referral programs, and referral programs are becoming increasing popular on shopping sites as well.
Some referral programs will give you a code to give to friends while others give you a personal referral link.
Most referral programs offer something to both you and the person you refer, so you should advertise the benefit to your readers and encourage them to use your code or follow your link.
3. Use affiliate links
Affiliate links are a little different than referral programs because instead of earning credit towards a specific website or app, you can earn money directly. If you’re just starting out, affiliate links might not be for you, but if you already have an established following, it might be a good idea to look into an affiliate program.
Amazon has a very popular and easy to use program that can earn you up to 10% of items purchased from your readers. If you’re a fashion blogger, RewardStyle is a great way to earn commission on sales driven by your blog, but you do have to apply to be a part of it. More robust affiliate programs include CJ, ShareASale, and Rakuten Affiliate Network. With these, you can search for brands or websites specific to your blog’s focus.
You should do some research into which affiliate program is right for your blog since each offers slightly different features.
4. Find brand sponsors
Lots of bloggers earn money by partnering with brands and becoming brand representatives. Big bloggers get paid big bucks to promote products, but if you’re still small, it’s best to start a relationship with a brand by accepting free or discounted merchandise.
Reach out to smaller brands that you already like by sending an email expressing your interest in writing about them. Mention that you would like to start out with a sample of their product to review for your readers.
If all goes well and they see significant traffic generated by your post, they might want to pay you to partner with them in the future as your blog grows!
5. Become an 'influencer' and get paid to speak at events
Once you make a name for yourself, you can start to really make a mark in the blogging community you’re a part of. Whether you write about fashion, beauty, parenthood, coupons, technology, or even something as specific as underwater basket weaving, there are bound to be events within your blogging community.
Successful bloggers can get paid to speak at events, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and find events that you could lend your talents to!
6. Sell exclusive content
If you’ve garnered a following and want to start selling specific content, you might want to consider starting a membership program. This would give members a little extra something beyond your blog.
This strategy makes a lot of sense in certain blogging circles such as fitness and health (selling monthly fitness and diet plans) or personal blogs (take a note from the Kardashians for once: each of them has an exclusive app and website that charges a monthly membership fee). However, this can be applied to any blogging niche as long as your exclusive content is exciting and enticing enough for people to subscribe to!
Option 2: Write for someone else
1. Writing and blogging freelance websites
If you enjoy writing, why not do it for other people? There are plenty of websites specific to writing or blogging freelance positions. BloggingPro has a great blogging job board where you can find freelance, contract, or part-time job listings.
Freelance writing jobs and blogger jobs are also great writing job boards. Both of these websites allow you to search jobs by keyword, location, and job type. Websites like these are great options to find jobs that fit your interests and schedule.
2. Look for jobs on Localwise
Local businesses need bloggers too! Check your favorite local job board, Localwise, to find local writing gigs. Businesses might be looking for part-time, freelance, or even full-time writers, so see what’s out there in your area!
3. Set up a profile on a freelance marketplace
It’s super easy to set up a profile on a freelance marketplace like Upwork or Fiverr. You'll be able to showcase your professional skills, experience, and education and start applying for projects. Plus, if you have other skills besides writing, Upwork and Fiverr are also networks for designers, web developers, translators, marketers, accountants, and more!
4. Join Creative Circle
Creative Circle is another great option for freelance writers. Creative Circle works a little differently from Upwork and Fiverr. Just send them your info and they’ll help connect you with someone looking for your skills.
5. Write for Constant Content
Constant Content is similar to Upwork, Fiverr and Creative Circle, except with this website you submit your content first. Simply write unique content, upload it, and your writing can be sold to multiple clients.
Once you’ve contributed a certain amount, you earn the ability to get exclusive projects. The client sets the price, and you’ll earn 65% while Constant Content takes a 35% cut. This is a great way to add to a writing portfolio!
6. Post to HubPages
With HubPages you can write about any topic you’re passionate or knowledgeable about. They’ll place ads related to your writing on your article’s page, and you’ll share in the advertising revenues!
Once your article generates the minimum of $100 through AdSense or $50 through the HubPages Ad Program, you can withdraw your earnings.