How to Monetize a WordPress Blog in 2020
The success can’t happen overnight though. If someone is promising you that you can get rich fast on the web, he’s 100% scamming you.
No matter which way you’ll choose to monetize your blog, it takes time and effort to create a successful online business. But instead of trading your time for money (like a regular job), you’ll build an online platform that can generate money even when you’re sleeping!
How fast and how much money can I make online?
Usually, the process goes like this:
- The first (4-6) months the average blogger makes fewer than $500/month.
- After 6-12 months, you should be able to earn about $1000/month.
- After 12-24 months, you could earn much more than that.
However, once you build it successfully, you’re going to enjoy a stable monthly income. This will allow you to live the life you desire and enjoy financial freedom.
This is after all the reason you decided to become a blogger, isn’t it?
The 11 Best Ways to Monetize a Blog 2020
The methods you’re going to read here are proven ways that many people use right now to make money online.
(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I’m recommending some products/services I personally use that helped me to make money online. If you purchase anything through my affiliate links, I will receive a commission.)
Before applying your suitable monetization method, make sure your blog is free of these fatal blogging mistakes!
There’s no special skill on how to monetize a blog! It takes only your effort and some of your daily time in order to take advantage of one best ways to monetize your blog:
1. Affiliate Marketing
One of the easiest and most popular ways to monetize a blog (especially if you’re a beginner) is Affiliate Marketing. It means that you promote other people’s products (through affiliate links) and you get a commission if a visitor buys from them. You can promote almost everything, from a toothbrush to online courses.
Many bloggers/online marketers are making a fortune using this method! Also, I use this as a primary method for monetizing my blog.
Further, Affiliate Marketing allows you to monetize your blog on your first day!
Consider the following tips in order to improve your chances of convincing your readers to buy a product:
- The best way to recommend items is through informative articles, guides, and how-to posts/videos.
- It’s better to promote products that you personally use and you’re satisfied with them.
- Only recommend products that are relevant to your post’s topic or your niche.
- Promote items that you truly believe that will help your audience.
- Don’t try to scam your readers. Their trust in you is the key to success!
- It’s obligatory to inform them that you use affiliate links and if they purchase something you’re going to get a commission. This isn’t a bad thing at all. Being transparent with them increases their trust to you.
- Don’t place too many affiliate links. Use fewer but valuable links because they convert better.
How much money can I get through Affiliate Marketing?
Regarding the commissions:
Companies usually offer a 4-10% commission for common physical products. For example, if someone buys a tablet (through your affiliate links) that costs $100, you’re going to get $10 (10% commission). For some special products, the commission can get much higher. This percentage is lower compared to digital products, but it’s much more likely that a visitor will buy the product.
This category includes everything that has no physical form, such as:
- Online courses
- Web-hosting providers
- Online services
- Or whatever product you can find in digital form
Companies usually offer a 20-80% commission for digital products, but the average percentage is 30-50%. This is much higher compared to physical products, but it’s less likely to convert.
How can I get affiliate links to start promoting products?
- You can join directly a company’s affiliate program that you’re interested in. To check if a company has an affiliate program, go to their site and check for terms such as “Affiliates”, “Partners” or something similar (they’re usually at the bottom of their website). Note that some companies have these programs but they don’t refer it to their sites. In this case, you have to send them an email and ask if they’re interested in a partnership with you.
- You can join one of the most popular Affiliate Networks. These networks act as an intermediary between you (the promoter) and the company that owns the product.
The best one to taste how affiliate marketing looks like is ShareASale. It’s an excellent network for both physical and digital products with a friendly interface. You can see the best performing products and the current offers/deals. Also, they provide helpful posts and tips to guide you.
ShareASale is completely free to join, so don’t lose time! It takes only a few minutes to sign up. Join it to check the best offers and products currently on the market. You may discover interesting items and even get new ideas for creating relevant content!
Other great and trustworthy Affiliate Networks are:
- Amazon Associates: The Amazon’s affiliate network is probably the best for promoting physical products and eBooks. The average commission is 4-10%, but you also get a bonus for everything else the visitor you sent buys in the next 24 hours! Further, Amazon has a huge variety of products, so you can find any kind of product you want to promote. You can even create (affiliate) lists of your favorite products!
- CommissionJunction (CJ): It’s a network similar to ShareASale, with a less friendly interface. It’s worth joining though because you can find different products and offers.
- Clickbank: This is the most popular network for digital products with high commissions.
Never join an Affiliate Network that requires you to pay in order to join! It’s probably a pyramid-scheme program (Ponzi scheme) or some kind of fraud.
2. How to Monetize a Blog with Ads
The easiest and most common way to monetize a website is through ads as it requires little effort to set it up. After you join an “Ads Network” you can earn money when:
- A visitor clicks an ad (Cost-Per-Click or CPC).
- Every time an ad is displayed to your site (Cost-Per-Impression, CPI).
Moreover, you can choose what kind of ads will be displayed, their form (banners, text, videos) and where you want them to appear.
How much money can I earn by joining an Ads Network?
It depends on many different factors such as where your traffic comes from, the type of the ad, the advertised product, your location or your niche.
The sure thing is that you’ll need a decent amount of daily traffic in order to generate a high income. For this reason, this monetization method it’s suitable for more generic niches, news-blogs or any blog that has many frequent visitors.
If you’re interested in monetizing your blog using this method, join one of the best Ad Networks:
- Google AdSense: I can’t tell if this is the best, but it’s by far the most popular Ad Network. Click here to see if you’re eligible for participating in the program.
|Ads display based on your specific keywords||Your blog must be at least 6-months old to join|
|Ads display based on your visitors’ interests||Google is very sensitive/strict and can disable your account.|
|High earnings if you have a lot of traffic||Low earnings if you’re in a non-popular niche|
There are many other Ads Networks on the web, but they probably aren’t better than these I referred above. However, if you the above-mentioned networks rejected you, you can research the web to find a network that is more suitable for you.
3. Email Marketing
Email Marketing has the potential to be the most lucrative monetization method. You should implement it to your blog from day #1.
Why is it so important?
According to salesforce.com, Email Marketing has an average ROI (Return on Investment) of 3800%! This literally means that you earn $38 for every dollar you invest.
Also, there were 3.7 billion email users globally until 2017 (source: leightoninteractive.com). By 2012, this number is expected to grow to 4.1 billion users.
The best strategy for making money from your email list is the following:
- Attract visitors to your site.
- Before/during/after they read one of your posts, you offer them something that has value such as an eBook, a cheat sheet or a mini-course. In order to get it, they need to subscribe to your email list.
- Once you have their email, your email auto-responder sends them your freebie. Further, you would already have set an automatic sequence of informative emails that your subscribers will receive day by day.
- This way you will earn their trust, while you’re helping them to achieve their goals. The point here is to recommend them some items (that you get affiliate commissions from them) that can help them accomplish their goals.
Let’s take a look at this example:
After your blog is online for some months, let’s suppose you have about 850 email subscribers. You’ve just found out a new awesome product that can benefit your readers.
You sent to all of them this interesting deal and 50 of them decide to buy the product. If you your commission for promoting this product is $20, you’re going to make 50*$20= $1,000 just by sending an email!
Other important benefits of having your own email list:
- Every time you publish a new post, you can send a broadcast email to your subscribers to let them know about it. This way you can greatly increase your page views.
- You can directly ask them what their problems or questions are so you get ideas for useful content.
- You can segment your readers to smaller categories (beginners, advanced etc) in order to send them more suitable emails and offers.
The best option is to use Email Marketing as a primary method along with another monetization way that is suitable for your website.
To achieve this, you’ll need an Email Marketing program that you can adjust to send automatic emails to your subscribers. Personally, I’m using Aweber for my Email Campaigns & I’m pretty satisfied with it. It’s the best value-for-money Email software.
Find out how to successfully set up (for free) a lucrative email list, reading this post: How to Start Building Your Email Marketing List.
4. Freelancing / Providing Services
If you’re already or want to work also as a freelancer, the best way to advertise yourself is through a successful blog.
I’m not talking about a simple blog where you introduce yourself and add your portfolio. I mean a successful blog that targets a specific audience, publishes content about it and earning some money in the process.
If your potential clients see that you own an established blog, your rates will improve dramatically as you’ll gain credibility and trust. Don’t stack at content mills begging for a job for a few bucks per hour.
Tip: Are you into freelancing? Add a “Hire me” page in your blog. On this page explain what you have to offer and how your clients will benefit from you. When your blog becomes a little popular, it’s much likely that clients will contact you to offer a job.
What freelance services can I offer?
The most popular freelancing jobs include:
- Writing (articles, posts, academic writing, copywriting, eBook writing)
- Graphic Designing
- Programming and Developing Software
- Video/Photo Editing
- Music Production/Editing
- Financial/Investing advice
- Website/Blog Administrator or Editor
Personally, I made my first dollars online as a freelance writer. I was a total beginner back then but I managed to get hired for 2 different blogs.
Another similar service you can offer through your blog is consulting. Do you expertise on a specific topic? Can you help other people achieve their goals?
If the answer is yes, then you can take advantage of it. For example, you can offer your services as a nutritionist/dietician, pet trainer, accountant, relationship advisor or whatever you’ve enough knowledge of.
Let your clients talk with you via telephone or a Video-Call service like Skype. Then, you can charge them per hour or per task completed.
6. Online Courses
Do you have enough expertise on a subject that is valuable to people? Then, take it to the next level and create an online course.
Hmm, what’s actually an online course?
It’s an online educational guide that leads you step by step towards your goal. (E.g. How to Master Your Photoshop Skills: From Beginner to Professional)
Although it’s not an ideal method for beginners, online courses can be very lucrative. For creating a successful online course, you’ll need:
- A lot of upfront work.
- To be an expert on a topic.
- Time and effort for a good marketing strategy.
However, once you released it you’ll probably receive much credibility and authority in your niche along with some high profit.
Another way that you can take advantage of your expertise is by launching webinars (web-based seminars).
A webinar is an online lecture, workshop or presentation that you can stream it via a video conferencing program. It gives you the ability to teach and interact with your “students” at real time. Moreover, they can directly ask you any questions or concerns they have.
There are two popular ways to monetize your webinars
- Notify your audience beforehand that your webinar will take place on a specific date. Let them subscribe for a reasonable price.
- Launch the webinar for free. During your presentation, recommend them some (affiliate or your own) products that can drastically help them to fulfill their goal.
The amount you can earn through webinars is depending on your niche and on how effectively you can market it. At the moment, webinars are a very popular educational method and they cover almost any topic.
8. Selling Your Own Digital or Physical Products
This method is similar to online courses because it can offer a lot of money but it requires enough work beforehand.
It’s not a recommended way for beginners as you’ll need too much time and resources until you launch it.
Many online bloggers/marketers use this method after they gain enough experience in the online industry. They usually create digital products like eBooks or online courses.
On the other hand, the most common physical products are handcrafted items such as jewels, paintings or any kind of handcrafted art.
Although you can’t monetize your blog from the first day using sponsored content, it’s a decent method after you get established in your niche.
Once your blog gets enough attention, it’s likely that some companies will get in touch with you for making their offer. Usually, they ask you to publish a piece of content or banners in your blog (which promotes their brand). In exchange, you receive a reasonable amount.
Also, you can pitch first some companies that are active in your niche and discuss with them if they want to sponsor your site.
If you have enough targeted traffic or you’re popular in your niche, you can earn a lot of money through sponsorships.
10. Subscription-Based/Premium Content, Forum, or Social Media Group
Even though this isn’t among the most popular monetization ways, it’s worth mentioning.
Can you create excellent specialized content that your audience needs? Is it good enough to worth paying for it? Then, you can add a subscription fee to your site.
Further, you can do the exact same thing by adding a subscription-based forum on your blog. There, you can provide premium information and answering your audience’s questions.
You can do the same thing using a Social Media group (like a Facebook Group). Your members won’t pay in order to join the group but you can still promote products through it. It’s like creating a close community that its members help each other.
11. Accepting Donations
It’s true that donations might be suitable only for a small group of blogs. Why did I include it to my list?
Well, I personally knew a guy that he was publishing articles at his blog about investing in cryptocurrencies. He was analyzing graphs, charts and stuff like this. His only monetization method was a ‘Donation button” at the bottom left corner of his blog.
What was the result? He was making way more money than a regular salary. The information he was providing for free was so valuable for his readers that they wanted to reward him.
So don’t think of it like you begging for money. If you’re working hard in order to keep your readers informed and updated, it’s likely that they want to return the favor!
Note that many popular websites like Wikipedia or Pixabay rely on donations to make a profit. However, this isn’t a recommended method for niches with high competition, unless you can provide unique data.
Selling Your Site
Do you want for some reason to get rid of your blog? Keep in mind that you can always sell it. As long as a blog is generating monthly profit, it has real value.
The price you can ask it depends on a lot of factors such as your niche, your monetization methods, and your traffic. But on average, buying a blog costs its monthly profit multiplied by 12-36 months. There are some sites (like Flippa.com) that help you evaluate your website’s value and then sell it for a specific price or through an auction.
I would not analyze other ways that are against Google’s ToS such as selling backlinks. Although they’re not technically illegal, they can risk your site’s appearance on search engines.
Let’s Sum It Up
The most powerful monetization method for every kind of blog is Email Marketing. So you should implement it to your site from the very first day.
But don’t depend entirely on it. You should use one of the above ways as well or a combination of them. If you have no previous experience on how to monetize a blog, consider using Affiliate Marketing, Ads or offer your services as a freelancer.
Feel free to submit any questions on the comment section below about the best ways to monetize a blog. If you enjoyed the post, please like or share it on Social Media!
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