Boost Your Blog Income With These 5 Smart Ways

Every blogger knows that it has become exceedingly difficult to earn money. What worked in the past does not work as well any more. What might in work in the future does not work yet. And so bloggers are in this limbo, where they’re scraping together any way possible to make money from their blogs. It’s quite a frustrating time for everyone.

Each blog will have a different ideal monetization strategy.

Bloggers spend countless hours not only searching for that ideal strategy, but then implementing and optimizing it. Yet with the state of online income these days, it’s difficult to focus on just one strategy.

In fact, the best way to boost your blog’s income is to explore multiple monetization strategies. The more you implement, the more you can earn.

(In a future guest post I will describe the best strategy for implementing multiple monetization strategies. But for now let’s focus on the basics.)

So what are the five methods of blog monetization? Here goes, starting with the simplest and most common.


1. CPM advertising

When bloggers first looked for a way to make money, they sought the traditional publishing method. People read blogs, and advertisers want to be where people put their eyeballs. Yet because most blogs couldn’t afford an ad sales staff, they had to rely on a middleman to create opportunities. That’s where Google stepped in.

AdSense is the most common method for monetizing blogs, but it doesn’t really pay out much money. For one, advertisers won’t pay premium rates to reach a small number of people, so they pay far lower rates than in print. On top of that, Google takes a huge fee on each sale, so the blogger is left with a meager income from CPM advertising. It is by far the easiest way to monetize a blog — all you have to do is sign up for AdSense and insert some code — but because it is so easy, it is also the least profitable.

Joe’s Tip: Look for a company like PulsePoint that allows you to place bids on CPM ads. You can set the bid very high, allowing you to find opportunities for better-paying ads. When you can’t find an ad that meets your CPM requirements, you can fill your inventory with the same AdSense ads you’d have run anyway.

2. Affiliate marketing

The most efficient way to make money is to sell something. You offer something people want, and they give you money in exchange for the product or service. It works exceedingly well in the physical world, and it can work well online, too. The simplest way to sell things is via affiliate deals.

Affiliate marketing works in a simple manner. You find retailers that have affiliate programs and then sign up. The retailer then provides you with code, which you add to the links on your site. When you drive traffic, and then sales, to the retailer, you get a commission. It’s really a simple referral, but it can bring you far more money than CPM advertising, because people are actually buying something — and you are facilitating that sale.

Joe’s Tip: Start with an affiliate network like Commission Junction or ClickBank, but always be on the looking for individual merchants that offer an affiliate program. When you work with a merchant, you get a cut of the sale and that’s that. While working with CJ will bring you more opportunities, you also have to pay CJ a portion of each sale, thereby reducing your commissions.

3. Direct sales

If you’re blogging about something, chances are you possess a level of expertise. Further, chances are that you’re not giving away industry secrets on your blog. It’s best to save those for bigger projects, ones that have more money-making potential than a standalone blog. Thankfully, there are easy and free resources that allow you to create your own digital products, which you can sell to you readers.

Creating e-books, videos, and audio programs can be greatly profitable. You already have the marketing vehicle, which is your blog. This is where you display your expertise. Once you have developed credibility, you can then point your readers to premium products, where you offer them advice and information that they can’t find on your blog — or anywhere else. It’s a hard sell, but it’s far more profitable than selling someone else’s products.

Joe’s Tip: One key to selling products is to get a good rate on credit cards. Yes, you have to pay a third party in order to accept credit cards online. Finding a company like WePay, which offers better rates than competitors, will allow you to keep even more from each sale.

4. E-commerce reselling

Maybe you don’t have a product of your own to sell, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sell at all. Again, selling products is the most efficient way of making money. If you’re looking for better commissions than affiliate marketing, and you have an audience that is ready to buy, you can try another monetization method. By re-selling e-commerce products, you can earn huge commissions.

The difference between reselling and affiliate marketing is that when reselling, you the blogger take most of the responsibility. You have to market the product, display the product, and process payment for the product. (Though almost always you can find someone else to ship the product.) That takes the burden off the retailer, which means a greater commission for you. Re-selling e-commerce products isn’t for everyone, but bloggers with large audiences can find it rewarding.

Joe’s Tip: Look for an all-inclusive e-commerce solution such as Shopify, which will help you set up your store, display your products, and manage customer carts. You’ll have to pay, yes, but in the end it will be cheaper and less frustrating than creating a custom solution.

5. Subscription paywall

We leave the most difficult for last. Creating a subscription paywall for your blog was a hot, trendy idea about six or seven years ago, but the idea quickly fizzled out.

Why? Because there are millions of blogs on the internet. What makes yours so great that people will pay for it? The bad news is that the question is difficult to answer. The good news is that if you can sufficiently answer it, you can make money charging people to read your content.

The trick here is to go beyond credibility. Most bloggers, with some hard work, can establish credibility in a niche. But you can’t just be credible; you must be a noted expert. This means finding any and all opportunities to not only write on your blog, but others’ blogs and websites as well. You have to reach far and wide in order to develop expert status. It takes plenty of hard work, but the reward can be enormous.

Joe’s Tip: There are experts everywhere, and chances are you’ll find it difficult to become an expert in a large field. The key is to narrow your focus and become an expert in a single niche. For example, affiliate marketing is a huge field, but there are many components. Becoming a PPC expert is one way to become an affiliate marketing expert. The bonus is that as you become an affiliate marketing expert, you also become a PPC expert, thereby increasing your ability to charge for content and advice.

In one way, making money from your blog has never been more difficult. Many of the old monetization strategies don’t work as well as they once did. In another way, there are more opportunities than ever. If you can take advantage of three or four of these, you’ll find that you can boost your income.

Make sure to join me later this month, when I discuss the best method for implementing these strategies.

Did I missed anyone? Do you know how to boost income? Do share in comments.

53 thoughts on “Boost Your Blog Income With These 5 Smart Ways”

  1. Great tips Joe. Was just Googling for blogging tips and this article popped up on top. As you have mentioned at the start making money by blogging has become more harder with more and more people are coming online and grabbing their shares.

    However done correctly as you have mentioned, there is always a good opportunity for any blogger to make money online. In most cases a successful blog opens new opportunities everyday.

    Adding a little more for this article I have a great Blogging Guide available on my blog to freely download. Also on “Top Online Business Models” I cover most of the hot tips and strategies to make money online.

  2. Very good post Joe, I would add that affiliate marketing is my favorite way of making money with a blog. Create a useful post, add one or two affiliate links and watch the sales role in month after month, without you doing anything.

    Passive income using blog is something that you need to try, just work hard one day or two, create a killer post, and then watch the sales coming in, while you focus on next article.

    But keep in mind to provide the value, always quality over quantity.

    thanks for sharing…

  3. hi Joe Pawlikowski
    this is a great and informative article for newbies I would like to say that I prefer affiliate marketing among all earning ways from a Blog. I am saying affiliate because I earn very well from affiliate programs after that I prefer Google ad sense or E-commerce reselling to earn well from Blog.

  4. Mohammad Nishat

    Great Share Joe Sir…
    I thinks that your tips looking great i’m going to try them may this offers improvement in my Blog Income…Thanks a lot Sir for share … I really appreciates your Great knowledge about online Marketing…

  5. Now a days there is a lot of competition for every marketer not only in bloggers niche. Affiliate marketing and Direct sales of your service or product are good ways to make good amount of money if you’re in blogging niche.

    We can clearly see that there is alot of competition in each and every markertor this is not only for blogger niche sites. Yes but you can still make money with affiliate marketing and direct sales of your product. Thanks.

  6. Wow thanks for all these tips, I haven’t personally started promoting anything on my blog or monetizing it yet. I am still working on driving traffic to it. What is the use of monetizing it if it still does not get a lot of readers. I will definitely be using some of these techniques when it comes time for monetizing.

  7. Shivani Sharma

    This is really a great article written by Joe, This tells there are numerous ways to make money online not only Adsense is a option, all you need to be is just serious about your work and learn from environment and others experience, Nice.

  8. Alvin Chadwick

    These are all great ways to boost blog income however CPM publishing will not earn your blog a dime if your blog does not obtain a lot of traffic.

  9. hey doesnt afflilate links and sharing hurts seo of the website???? like if we share affiliate banners pop up javascripts will it hamper our seo??? or adsense violation??

    1. Joe Pawlikowski

      It will not hamper your SEO efforts. As for AdSense, it has its own set of terms and conditions. You have to read them to make sure that your pop ups don’t violate them.

  10. Vivek Krishnan

    Hi Joe, Great article here for the making money off a site. I would like to add to this discussion that affiliate selling has been extremely profitable for me. This is not a tip that most articles on making money mention. Great job!

  11. Hi Joe,
    You have given some good ways to make money. But most of them can be implemented only if you have a big blog and you are a big blogger.
    CPM works only if your blog attracts large number of traffic. The same goes with Subscription paywalls.
    However affiliate marketing is some thing that people can try out but that too requires some serious work in order to succeed.

    1. Joe Pawlikowski

      Exactly. I feel like affiliate marketing scales from small blogs to huge ones. So do direct sales.

  12. WoW!! You posted real nice tips. I really admire your work.

    If you want to earn money with blogging you really have to work on some key SEO strategies. Because traffic is money!!!

    Anyway keep the good work up!

  13. Hi joe,
    nice article ,but who say Google doesn’t really pay out much money? You know some one earning huge amount of money from Google adsense like labnol,shoutmeloud etc and even i am earning good amount (not much)of money from Google adsense.

    1. Joe Pawlikowski

      Labnol is a PR6 with an Alexa rank under 5,000. He probably gets millions of visitors per month, which is why he earns a lot with AdSense.

  14. Yes, its true that when we are using Google adsense CRM rate is different from what they offering rate. I don’t know what is issue or what is logic behind this.

    I have read other methods of earning online like E-Commerce and selling products from blog.

  15. When starting out, I am finding that offering services is the quickest way to start making money online. Yes, it is not passive, as you have to do the work. But it quickly gets some money, you learn what kinds of problems people actually have, and you create some social proof that you know what are talking about, because you are helping real people solve this problem.

    Then, later on when you have more of an audience, they will trust you more and want to buy from you because you have proven you know what you do.

  16. Thank you so much .

    These are common ways to make money from blogging. I tried Adsense at first, but get disapproved time after time, so maybe affiliate marketing is a great idea.

    I think CPA is another good income stream once you can get into the system.

  17. Tottally true! AdSense pays very little and by the way, there are high chances of getting banned every now and then. Additionally, Affiliate Marketing is my favourite!

    Awesome post!

  18. yes agree with all above point. with BSA.we can generate awesome money. adsense is also great. thanks for sharing your experience.
    dear one more question
    I applied for Google adsense and approve in first review. but after four day my application disapprove in 2nd review Because of does not comply with Google webmaster policy.
    dear i receive 2000 visitor/ day 90 % from Google Search engine. and on friday receive 5000 – 6000 visitor. dear please help me i am so worry please check my site and suggest me so that my application could approve. thanks in advance.
    I applied for adsense on 12 july. please also suggest me now when i apply for adsense?
    my site:

      1. but Brother when i applied for Google Adsense I removed Chitika Ads till Google Last Reply. another Thing i have two site & I applied for Chitika for but i am using this service on my both site. Please now after read this please suggest me. ten days before my website traffic reach 2000/ day but now 2500/ day. now please suggest me can I apply for adsense? i am waiting your reply brother.

  19. I have one word for this post – GOLD!
    Seriously – these are some awesome eye-opening strategies. I just started a new blog and will be putting many of these to work right away.
    Thank you for listing everything in detail. Bookmarked this to help me “check off” things as I move along.

    Thank you ………………

    1. Joe Pawlikowski

      It all depends on your niche and how well you market it. My best advice is to find a niche that Google hasn’t already taken — do some searches and make sure that Google Shopping links don’t dominate the SERP.

  20. I have been focusing on affiliate marketing with some success. With the recent Google updates it has become increasingly important to make sure your backlinks have good PR ranking and particularly relevance.
    Have tried some CPA marketing as well, but not much income from that. I think you have to devote a lot of time and money to that to get excellent results.

  21. Google thesedays is quite reluctant to share the revenues from CPM.High traffic blogs are the only beneficiaries.For a low traffic blog, affiliate sales are more feasible i think.

  22. Amazing make-money post. I don’t usually try affliate because it requried a long time. I always try banner advertising on my blog. Thanks very much.

  23. You have outlined the tips to generate a better income with your blog. Affiliate marketing is one good way of getting some good amount of money off your blog and also rendering your service is one best way to also make money from your blog. Thanks for this wonderful post and do have a lovely week ahead…

  24. One of the biggest shocks I found was when I started displaying CPM ads and struggled to make even 1% of what others had claimed, despite pulling in more traffic, it is worth pointing out that it is great if your traffic is mostly US. :)

    1. Joe Pawlikowski

      If you’re in the US, US traffic works best. But AdSense is actually more profitable in some other worldwide markets.

  25. Great Article Joe. I covered something relating and supports to posts on Online Marketing HQ couple of days back. I really enjoyed the fact you have deeply elaborated how to get started with making money online.

    Selling ad Space is a great way and I see All Blogging Tips is a great place for anyone to advertise for more exposure and get a boost before they get ads from others and charge.

    Thanks for the Share Joe. You seem not that Average Joe People bring up during joking on different

  26. Nice Tips Joe, What i think is the best way to actually make money with a blog is to write cool articles about whatever you want to sell online.
    It works for most people using it.

  27. Thanks for that Joe, and i agree with you focusing on a single strategy may not work and if you fail to employ different strategies you’ll falter. Writing sponsored reviews for sites such as Review me, blog vertise,payperpost etc will pocket you up to $200 per post.

    1. Joe Pawlikowski

      How have your readers reacted to sponsored posts? I’m always afraid they’ll leave because of it.

  28. I’m so glad I read this that I’m going to go through the archive and pick up all the hints for my blog and use them to their fullest! If I had not read this I would still be a very lonely fur in Blogger Land. Thanks!

  29. Hi Joe,

    Well put ways. Thanks
    Now a days there is a lot of competition for every marketer not only in bloggers niche. Affiliate marketing and Direct sales of your service or product are good ways to make good amount of money if you’re in blogging niche.

  30. Gilbert Samuel

    Hi joe, you’re right about google adsense, the fce is that affiliate marketing is betterthan google adsense.
    You missed a point there too, DIRECT ADS whereby advertisers place banners on a blog for a specific amount per month.

    1. Joe Pawlikowski

      In my experience the direct advertisers don’t bother unless you have about a million visitors per month, which most blogs do not have.

  31. Those are some very good tips. The next tip would to capture leads. Offer a free ebook that is very valuable to your readers. Then they will subscribe to you using a service such as aweber and you can build up your leads. And promote to to them through email marketing and also update them when you write new blog posts!

  32. Its quite interesting post.I personally prefer to for affiliate marketing .It comes with lots of advantages as compare to others like good commission,readers loyalty,unique product etc.

    1. Joe Pawlikowski

      I’ve found it’s more and more difficult to find good affiliate rates, since competition in almost all affiliate verticals has increased in the last few years.

      1. Not only that it becomes more difficult to find a good one, it has always been so strict. The application approval is very poor (well depends on your niche vs the program you are applying, they should be related, of course) especially if your website is focused locally. Good paying programs aren’t that much available for these websites. That is why it is that hard to earn in affiliate marketing for websites that is optimized for local audience.

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