How to Make Money Blogging: The Definitive Guide (2021)

Want to turn your blog into some major moolah that you can brag about in front of your friends? Then you’ve come to the right place.

How to Make Money Blogging: The Definitive Guide (2021)

You’ve successfully started your new blog using my start a blog guide and you’re ready to turn it into a money-makin’ machine.

In this post, I’ll go over the different ways you’re able to make money blogging and just how to go about it. I’ll cover the following methods:

  1. Affiliate marketing 💰
  2. Email marketing 💌
  3. Ads 👨‍💻
  4. Online courses 👏
  5. Consultation 💡
  6. Subscriptions 📦

Without further ado, let us dive straight into the first method which is by far our favorite method to make money blogging.

1. Affiliate marketing 💰

Affiliate marketing made the top of the list because it is such a powerful and profitable yet easy way to make money blogging. And if you know how to correctly set up your affiliate marketing strategy it is also the most profitable way to make money blogging. Hands down.

Let’s take a closer look at what affiliate marketing is all about.

What is affiliate marketing?

If you do not know what affiliate marketing is, it is essentially when you collaborate with a company to advertise their products and, in return, earn a small commission based on the value of the sale you referred to them.

The commission varies. With some affiliate programs you will earn $10 per sale and others up to 300% of the total value of the sale. If you drive $1.000/month in sales then you would be making $3.000/month if the commission is 300%.

Thus, affiliate marketing is an incredible way to boost your passive income – and likely also one of the most profitable ways to make money blogging.

Where do I find new affiliate programs?

It can be quite tough to find a lucrative affiliate program that suits your blog and overall purpose. I’ve spent a good amount of time coming up with a list of the 75 most profitable affiliate programs. Check it out and find the affiliate program that suits you the best.

In that blog post, I’ve also covered some of the most popular affiliate networks where you’re able to gather all of the programs you’re signed up for so you don’t have to keep track of like 30 different programs.

Do a quick Google search and I’m sure you’ll find lots of different affiliate programs that you can use for your blog. Otherwise, take a look at the blog post I’ve linked to above.

How much can I realistically make from affiliate marketing?

Some bloggers are making around $5.000 a month just from affiliate marketing while others are making more than $50.000 a month.

I’ve written a blog post on the 7 most lucrative blogging niches where you can find examples of bloggers who’re making this kind of income.

When I first got into blogging, I thought it sounded too good to be true that you’re able to make $10.000 a month from blogging. And I’m sure you’re sitting with the exact same feeling right now.

That’s why I’ve found 3 of my favorite bloggers who’re making more than $20.000 a month just from affiliate marketing. Let’s dive in!

Blogger #1: Adam Enfroy

Adam Enfroy sitting in front of a computer

I’ve followed Adam Enfroy for a while. He started his blog back in January 2019 & has since then managed to grow it to more than 500.000 visits per month & make more than $1 million.

His primary source of income is affiliate marketing and he brought in $59.859 from 58 different affiliate programs during November 2020.

Adam Enfroy income report for November 2020

I think Adam is an absolute beast at what he’s doing and I’d definitely recommend you read his story to get an insight into his strategies.

Blogger #2: Create & Go

Lauren and Alex with funny hats

The next in line is Lauren and Alex — two people who met each other on Tinder back in 2014 and who are now six-figure bloggers.

They have one of the best stories out there, and they’re honestly the couple that everyone wants to be. Take a look at their story and you’ll think so too.

In January 2016 they made their first $172 and just about 5 years later (in September 2020), they’re making around $130.000/month where $50.000 of them are from affiliate marketing (read their income report).

Create & Go income report for 2020

What I absolutely love about Lauren and Alex are that they’re fully transparent and that their ultimate goal is to help at least 10.000 start a blog and make money — just as they did.

Blogger #3: Ryan Robinson

Ryan Robinson in front of a computer

The last example is Ryan Robinson who’s been in the blogging game for more than 10 years — making him one of the bloggers with the most experience.

His blog has more than 250.000 visitors per month and made $23.026 in November 2020 where $21.318 came from affiliate marketing (from 26 different affiliate programs – Bluehost being his primary affiliate partner).

Ryan Robinson income report

I really like Ryan’s way of working. He has a ton of experience in the field and his blog posts are not only insanely useful. They’re also entertaining.

One thing they all have in common — apart from their impressive income — is that they not only spray affiliate links in their blog posts. They also place them in their newsletters. Which brings us to the next way of making money – through email marketing.

Let’s take a look at how to make money through email marketing.

2. Email marketing 💌

Ah, the art of email marketing. If you are new to email marketing, you might find it intimidating to start sending newsletters to your followers. I certainly had a love-hate relationship with sending emails until I started to get the hang of it and saw its money-making potential.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can make money blogging by utilizing the power of email marketing!

Is email marketing still relevant?

With email marketing, you’re able to reach out to thousands of readers in a matter of minutes. To give you an idea of how powerful email marketing can be, here are some numbers from Mailchimp:

  • 22,15% of people open your emails
  • 4,62% of people click the links in your emails

The numbers varies depending on what type of niche you’re in and how your email signup flow has been put together.

Thus, email marketing is still highly relevant and probably one of the most effective ways to make money from your blog if you know how to put together a killer funnel.

Combining affiliate marketing and email marketing

Now, here’s where it gets really interesting (and ridiculously profitable). By combining affiliate marketing with the conversion insaneness of email marketing you’re able to skyrocket our affiliate income.

Take a look at the following email:

Affiliate email with link to Bluehost

Imagine that you sent the email to all of your 10.000 email subscribers and that the average conversion rate on your affiliate links are 1% – 2%.

2215 people would open the email, 462 people click the links, & around 5-10 people would convert and buy a hosting plan with Bluehost.

The Bluehost affiliate program comes with a $65 commission on every sale so you’d make anywhere between $325 – $650 from a single mail.

Do you see the potential now?

I’ve written a blog post covering how to combine affiliate marketing with email marketing more in depth. Take a look at it.

How much can you realistically make from email marketing?

If you’re great at what you do, a rule of thumb is that every qualified email subscriber is worth $1/month. That said, if you have 1.000 email subscribers, you’re able to make $1.000 a month.

Of course, it depends on how many emails you’re sending out, how good you are at writing your mails and creating effective email funnels, etc.

I’ve written a blog post on email marketing that you might want to take a look at if you want to know how to properly set up an email marketing campaign.

All in all, you’re able to make a ton of money using email marketing. I’d say $1.000 dollars would be quite easy to hit given you know what you’re doing.

3. Ads 👨‍💻

Though there are many ad platforms that you can use to make money blogging, Google AdSense is by far the most popular one.

Google AdSense is becoming less common over the years, as many people have found ways to use ad blockers to avoid seeing unwanted advertisements.

(If you’re one of those people, consider removing your ad blockers to help other bloggers make a little money).

Honestly, I wouldn't use Google AdSense if I were you. I'd look towards other ad platforms such as Mediavine or Ezoic since they're paying out so much more than Google AdSense.

You'll need at least 50.000 pageviews a month to qualify for Mediavine and 10.000 pageviews a month for Ezoic – so you might want to wait a bit before you enable ads on your new Ghost blog.

How much can you realistically make from ads?

An example of a blogger using Mediavine would be Adam Enfroy who we previously covered. Here’s his ad revenue for November 2020:

Adam Enfroy ad revenue for November 2020

He joined Mediavine in July simply because he wanted to earn those $485 per day for no extra work. He doesn’t even lift a damn finger and he earns almost $500 extra per day from ad revenue.

By combining affiliate marketing and ads, you’re able to earn quite a hefty passive income from your blog. Who would've known, huh?

4. Online courses 👏

Over the years, online courses has become increasingly popular. It’s  estimated to become a $350 billion industry by 2025. Wouldn’t you want a slice of the cake?

It’s easy to get started with creating online courses. Use a tool such as Thinkific or Teachable. They sometimes have trials and free versions that you can try out before you purchase the full version.

Okay, how much can you then make from online courses if it’s such a huge industry? Well, a ton. Let's take a look at the earnings.

How much can you realistically make from online courses?

A dude called Aaron Ward, a former HBO motion designer, decided to quit his job since he wanted to escape the corporate ladder.

Since then, he has created two online courses:

He made $79.625 in 2019 from just those two courses. Here’s a view over his monthly online course earnings:

Aaron Ward income report for 2019

His motivation to keep creating online courses & run his blog on the side is to help other people escape the corporate ladder as he did.

He says it has a butterfly effect:

“I help someone help someone else, who then may help someone else”

You’ll not only make a ton of money, you’ll also be helpful.

5. Consultation 💡

This one’s a no brainer. If you’ve got the flare and style of a charismatic blogger, your blog is the perfect platform for advertising your services.

I mean, everyone short of living alone in the woods is looking to the internet to promote themselves, and with the 2020 pandemic, online services have increased drastically.

Whether you’re a life coach here to save the world one person at a time, or you’re hoping to launch your freelance copywriting or digital marketing business, your blog is basically your portfolio.

To encourage potential clients and customers to get in touch with your service agents, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Create a consultant page that clearly outlines your services.
  • Utilize the power of catchy buttons and calls to action to attract people to your services.
  • Actively promote a free consultation to turn leads into clients.
  • Include backlinks to your services within the blog posts themselves.

Ryan Robinson (we covered his affiliate income earlier) has done exactly this. To work with him, you’ll need at least a $10.000 monthly budget. It gives a fairly good idea of the earnings potential.

6. Subscriptions 📦

Say your blog is starting to gain in momentum after you’ve successfully marketed and maintained your mailing list. If you’ve played your cards right, your blog will have meaningful branding that brings subscribers to feel connected to you.

To put it bluntly, this is your chance to strike gold!

One way to make money blogging is by offering a paid subscription option in addition to the free subscription. Having a subscription plan requires content that is worth the cost of paying a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

It’s relatively easy to send a newsletter to avid followers, letting them know about your exclusive subscription plan that has behind-the-scenes details about the creation of some of your most intimate or moving blog posts, for example.

Key takeaways

There you have it, folks! Now you’ve got all the tools at your (sanitized) fingertips to make money blogging. This year won’t feel canceled once you begin to see how easy it is to monetize your passions.

My favorite way to make money blogging is definitely affiliate marketing. It's really easy to get started with and if you choose the right program, you can make a ton of money. Give my 75 highest paying affiliate programs a read.