How to monetize a blog: Tips from successful bloggers

There are a lot of ways to monetize your website, but these are the tactics that bloggers say work best.

When Taylor Stanford started blogging, she and her husband were living on food stamps.

“The thought of being able to buy whatever I wanted from the grocery store seemed like a dream I’d never accomplish,” she says.

Stanford wanted to inject more purpose into her life and make a little extra cash (one of many reasons you need a side hustle). So, she started a blog. As she consistently published blog posts, she built an audience. Steadily layering in a mix of website monetization tactics, Stanford was able to bring in about $10,000 a month after a year and a half. 

That blog is TaylorStanford.com, where she still publishes posts about her daily life, provides lessons on how to monetize a blog, and offers other advice and motivation for aspiring bloggers.

“Some days, it still feels like a dream when I get to roll through the drive-through on a Tuesday at noon and order a $5 coffee,” she says.

So, how do you make money from a blog? We asked Stanford and some other pro bloggers for secrets and strategies that have helped them succeed.

4 ideas for how to make money blogging

Many people wonder what types of blogs make the most money, but there are plenty of different types that can be lucrative.

Professional bloggers share their strategies for how to make money blogging.

Bjork Ostrom, who along with his wife runs the food blog Pinch of Yum, says that no matter what type of blog you have, you won’t earn any meaningful income until you’ve built a dedicated readership. If you’re just starting out, Ostrom says, “Hold off on monetization and instead focus on the content, building an audience, and figuring out what really works to engage with fans of your work.”

If you do have a fan base established, then he says now’s the time to think about revenue generation.

Here are four effective strategies for how to make money blogging, recommended by professional bloggers:

1. Display advertising

Those ads you see in the margins of your favorite websites? That’s display advertising, and it can be an effective way to monetize your website if your blog is already drawing a steady stream of visitors.

James Hills, who runs the travel and lifestyle blog ManTripping and blogging community Men Who Blog, found that there weren’t a lot of blogs for adventurous men who prioritized a healthy lifestyle when he first began blogging. However, there were plenty of advertisers looking to reach that audience, and he has been able to make money from both sites thanks to display advertising.

So how much blog traffic do you need to make money? Hills says you can monetize your blog in a meaningful way through advertising and brand partnerships once you reach 10,000 unique visitors per month, but he advises bloggers to aim for at least 25,000.

When deciding how to monetize a blog, many content creators choose to work with a managed ad network because it handles all the complexity that comes with connecting advertisers to websites like yours. Ostrom points out that many of these managed ad networks have traffic requirements. Some large managed ad networks require as many as 50,000 monthly sessions to qualify. Other networks offer their services at lower traffic thresholds, so Ostrom encourages you to do your research and pick the network that works best for you.

2. Affiliate marketing

Sometimes bloggers will link to other websites, where their readers can go to buy products or services. That’s a valuable source of sales for those third-party sites, which can further incentivize bloggers to link to them through an affiliate marketing program. With affiliate marketing, brands and online retail platforms make it easy for bloggers to use affiliate links on their sites. When a reader clicks the link and makes a purchase, the blogger gets paid.

Affiliate marketing for a product or service can help you monetize your website.

“It could be opening a credit card, signing up for a service, or buying a product on their website,” says Jim Wang, who runs the personal finance blog Best Wallet Hacks. Affiliate marketing is the main revenue driver for Wang’s blog.

“Affiliate marketing is all about trust,” says Amanda Williams, who runs the travel blog A Dangerous Business. “Whether you’re recommending something to longtime readers who already know you or you’re trying to sell something to someone landing on your site for the first time, you have to find a way to earn their trust.”

Stanford, who also monetizes her website with affiliate marketing, agrees that maintaining trust is critical. To keep your affiliate marketing true to who you are, she recommends first reflecting on all your favorite brands and then checking to see if they have affiliate marketing programs. Those that do typically provide straightforward instructions for how to leverage them, Stanford says.

Across the board, these bloggers emphasize that affiliate links can help you monetize your website, but they should always add value to your content.

3. Sponsored content

When it comes to how to monetize your blog, sponsored content is a popular tactic. When advertisers pay you to create content about their brand or provide you with content they’ve already created and approved to publish, that’s sponsored content.

For example, if you’re a food blogger, a salad dressing brand might pay you to include their Thousand Island dressing in your next burger recipe. Or let’s say you’re a lifestyle blogger. A sunglasses company might create a listicle of the “10 sunniest destinations to visit in the middle of winter” that you can feature on your blog.

However, professional bloggers say it’s important that you clearly label your sponsored content as such, because that transparency will build trust between you and your readers.

To obtain these kinds of partnerships, pro bloggers recommend creating quality content that brands would want to associate themselves with before you even have the traffic needed to monetize your website.

To get their attention, Stanford says it helps to nudge potential partners through tools like social media. She recommends tagging them in your social posts and also reaching out to them directly via email and by sending them your content. Taking that initiative, she says, can prompt them to ask you about a partnership or improve your odds when you eventually propose a deal. 

Often, though, brands will reach out to bloggers and ask their rate for a certain type of post, says Georgie Morley, whose personal blog helped her launch her photography career.

She typically receives a flat fee for each piece of sponsored content, regardless of how much traffic it gets. “How much you earn is based on your audience size, the kind of content, if the brand is able to license the content for their own use and a few other variables,” Morley says. She notes that the final price you land on can vary depending on the brand’s budget and how influential you’re perceived to be.

Williams, who runs A Dangerous Business, notes that the proliferation of influencers and bloggers has made it more difficult to pitch brands on partnerships than it used to be. Hills, of ManTripping, has some advice for how to differentiate yourself when reaching out: “The key is to present the brand contacts with a way that you can solve a problem or help them reach an audience that they need to engage with,” he says. “If you can offer that, then there could be opportunities to work together.”

“Whether you’re recommending something to longtime readers who already know you or you’re trying to sell something to someone landing on your site for the first time, you have to find a way to earn their trust.”

Amanda Williams, founder of travel blog A Dangerous Business

4. Selling products and services

For the Ostroms, Pinch of Yum is actually the first of a handful of companies they’ve launched. After seeing a pattern with requests from readers and other bloggers, they realized there was an opportunity to expand their offerings to WordPress plugins and educational courses. Now they offer premium subscriptions to their content on FoodBloggerPro, a recipe card plugin at WPTasty, a nutrition label tool at Nutrifox, and blog-focused content management software at Clariti.com.

Notice a trend with these products and resources? The Ostroms created each one to solve a problem they were running into as bloggers, and they found that others would be willing to pay for the same solutions.

If you don’t think you’re the ultimate expert and are nervous about teaching others, Ostrom says not to worry. “There’s this concept we have around here called ‘expert enough,’” Ostrom says, meaning that whatever your focus or practice area is, you likely have enough firsthand knowledge and experience to teach someone who is a few steps behind where you are. This ethos is what drove the creation of FoodBloggerPro, which helps food bloggers learn how to make money blogging. The Ostroms turned the lessons they learned running Pinch of Yum into original, marketable content.

Stanford also takes this approach to selling educational content on her blog. “Make sure that your product solves a problem for someone or simplifies their life in some way,” she says. On TaylorStanford.com, you’ll find courses on topics like how to get started blogging and how to use social media to drive traffic and revenue. 

How to monetize a blog consistently over time

Williams, who runs A Dangerous Business, emphasizes that making money from blogging does not happen overnight.

“You have to put in the work, and that takes time—months or sometimes even years, depending on what you’re blogging about,” she says.

When considering how to monetize a blog, veteran bloggers suggest posting consistently over time.

As you find new ways to generate revenue from your blog, these veteran bloggers all agree that you can’t take your eye off of some fundamental principles. Here are some more blogging tips that can help you monetize your website for years to come:

Regularly post high-quality content

“Focus on regular posting and cross-promoting at first because if you’re new, you learn a lot by constantly writing and promoting your work,” Wang, who runs Best Wallet Hacks, says.

Having a large body of work not only lets you learn more about what’s resonating with your audience, it also provides more opportunities to integrate display advertisements and affiliate marketing links. 

“Post with a purpose consistently,” Hills, who runs ManTripping, says. “Simply posting random thoughts four times a day isn’t going to do anything. If you know what you need to post, who you want to reach, and what they want to learn or do with the information, then it is absolutely important to post on a regular basis.”

As Ostrom decides what to write about, he first considers what questions people are asking, as well as what people have thanked him for writing about in the past. He says he has found this to be the simplest, most effective way to write content that readers value and return to the blog for.

Lean into your unique voice and point of view

The ManTripping blog targets men who like to travel, but Hills says that’s not the key to his success. Rather, he points to his uniquely tasteful point of view as the reason his blog stands out among a crowded field of competitors. He has found that this refined perspective both keeps his audience engaged and draws the interest of advertisers who want to associate with his website and connect with his readers.

Stanford agrees that her voice has helped her build a dedicated following. Her blog doesn’t have a singular focus. Instead, she writes about a variety of topics, from how to monetize a blog to skin care to visiting Disney World, and it’s her personality that keeps her audience coming back for more.

“When it comes to the internet, there are so many cold blogs and blog posts created by brands just to get their products to rank higher in search engines,” she says. “When I first started, that’s how I thought I had to write to be successful, so I tried it and got absolutely no response from people—no comments and no shares.”

When she went back and looked at the posts she’d been publishing, she didn’t like what she read. Rather than give up, she rewrote her posts as if she were talking to a friend. It was only then, when Stanford embraced her voice, that she began to build an audience.

Cross-promote and collaborate with other bloggers

The most common way to cross-promote your content is to write a guest post for another blog. It takes some effort, but successful bloggers agree that it’s an effective strategy for introducing your blog to another blogger’s audience.

“Start by building relationships with other bloggers because those relationships are very important, especially if you’re just starting out,” Wang says. Eventually, he says, you can ask about writing a guest post to expand your reach.

Sometimes bloggers don’t publish guest posts, but the relationships you build with other bloggers can still be valuable. “The important thing is that blogging can be a very solitary and lonely endeavor,” Wang says. “Making a few friends you can brainstorm and chat about challenges with can be huge.”

“If you know what you need to post, who you want to reach, and what they want to learn or do with the information, then it is absolutely
important to post on a regular basis.”

James Hills, founder of travel and lifestyle blog ManTripping

Grow your social media presence

Social media is a free channel that can help you get your blog in front of new readers and continue to engage with existing ones.

“I use my social channels to supplement my blog because, for me, my blog is always my main focus,” Williams says. She doesn’t actually see a lot of traffic generated by social media, but for her, that isn’t the point. “I create unique content for each social channel,” she says. “Each network is kind of its own audience.”

An influential social presence can also lead to new perks and revenue opportunities, Hills says. Every time he wears his favorite glasses, he tags the brand. And while it doesn’t always lead to a paid sponsorship, he does get free glasses and other products on a regular basis.

Keep your momentum going and monetize your website

Ostrom says that in the early years of his blogging journey, he and his wife were making less than minimum wage.

There’s no guarantee you’ll succeed, he notes, but if you keep grinding, you can increase your odds of success.

“Remember that most of the time in blogging, ‘done’ is better than ‘perfect’ because in this world, ‘perfect’ is constantly changing,” Stanford says. “Yes, learn a little and figure out a good starting place, but don’t get stuck learning and never take action.”

Now that you’ve learned how to monetize a blog, keep these tips and strategies in mind as you continue to grow your site into a successful, cash-generating venture. It takes time and effort, but this is how you turn your side hustle into a full-time job.

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[Rumor] Wells Fargo To Launch ‘Autograph’ Credit Card, Visa Rebranded Propel

According to this reddit thread (started by claimed Wells Fargo employee) Wells Fargo will launch the Wells Fargo Autograph card on July 13, 2022. The Autograph card is basically the Wells Fargo Propel card but running on the Visa payment network rather than American Express. For reference the Propel card had the following features:

  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 3x on dining, transit, travel, and streaming services.
    • 1x everywhere else.
  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 3x on dining, transit, travel, and streaming services.
  • 1x everywhere else.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Chase British Airways: 100,000 Point Bonus After $5,000 In Spend (Aer Lingus & Iberia Added)

Update 5/25/22: An e-mail was sent out saying these offers end soon, but not when the offers actually end. Hat tip to MtM

Update 7/1/21: These offers have officially launched.

Update 6/14/21: Same offer is now available for Aer Lingus & Iberia cards. Offers will ‘officially’ launch on July 1.

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Chase is offering 100,000 points after $5,000 within the first three months on Chase British Airways card

Card Details

  • $95 annual fee not waived first year
  • Chase’s 5/24 rule does apply to this card.
  • Card earns at the following rates (first $30,000 in the first year will earn 5x points per $1 spent):
    • Earns 3 Avios per $ on British Airways purchases
    • Earns 1 Avios per $ on all other purchases
  • As a general rule, Chase does match offers.

Our Verdict

This offer is significantly better than the 120,000 point offer and 100,000 point offers due to fact this only requires $5,000 in spend rather than $20,000 or $30,000 in spend. Not sure where this link was originally found, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it pulled sooner rather than later. Seems like a fantastic deal so if you have a use of British Airways Avios and are under 5/24 then I’d recommend applying now (although not as good as the Chase Sapphire Preferred in branch bonus). Will be adding this to our best credit card bonus page.

Hat tip to JonLuca

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Greenlight Family Cash Credit Card – Earn Up To 3% On All Purchases

Greenlight (family fintech) has launched a new credit card called ‘Family Cash Credit Card‘ and it has an interesting rewards structure as follows:

  • Earn 3% when you spend $4,000+ monthly

  • Earn 2% when you spend $1,000 – $3,999 monthly

  • Earn 1% when you spend <$1,000 monthly

The card is in waitlist mode at the moment (meaning you can’t actually apply for the card). If you’re in one of the first 1,000 applicants when it does launch there is a $100 bonus when you spend $750+. People with the most referrals will be higher on the waitlist so I suspect it’ll be difficult to be one of the first 1,000. Greenlight also has a $4.95 monthly fee.

Cards that earn 3% cash back on all purchases aren’t sustainable long term, but it’s more a matter of how long the 3% will last and if you can take advantage of it with enough spend to make it worth it. Greenlight has raised $500m in funds according to crunchbase. Please do not share your referrals in the comments.

Hat tip to SquareVehicle

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Why Are Bitcoin and Other Cryptos So Volatile?

Bitcoin’s most defining feature might well be that its price always seems to be rising.

In reality, however, the price of Bitcoin doesn’t always go up. To get these screaming vertical price increases, there needs to be some death-defying falls as well. Bitcoin’s very volatility makes this popular crypto a tempting investment for some, and a quite dangerous one for others. Trading in cryptocurrencies might not be for all investors — especially those with a low tolerance for risk.

Bitcoin Price Volatility

There’s no denying that cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, are volatile. For instance, in the first half of 2021, Bitcoin doubled in value, reaching a record-breaking high price of $64,000. But it tumbled back to less than $30,000 during the summer months. Then in November, Bitcoin’s price soared again; this time to $68,000 (for another all-time high) only to slip to below $35,000 in January 2022.

And this is just one example. Since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has posted an impressive price history, and experienced more than a few conspicuous crashes.

Volatility is essentially a given across all types of cryptocurrencies, given the general air of legal, political, institutional, and technological uncertainty that floats around them. But it’s more noticeable with Bitcoin. Bitcoin was the very first cryptocurrency created. Not only is it the most expensive crypto, but likely the most visible, and has become a flagship for the entire crypto/blockchain space. Arguably, Bitcoin could be the coin that led the government, the public, and traditional financial services companies to take cryptocurrencies seriously. Increasingly, millions of ordinary people view Bitcoin as a vehicle for investing, trading, and saving. But before investing in cryptocurrency, an investor would want to consider its volatility seriously.

Why Does Cryptocurrency Volatility Matter?

There’s a reason that nearly anyone who’s well-versed in cryptocurrency would caution novice investors to invest no more than you’re willing to lose. With a highly volatile asset like cryptocurrency, an investor’s overall portfolio value could suddenly shoot much higher or much lower than they would expect, or are prepared for, based on big changes in its price.

Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency to experience big price swings that can lead to large gains or losses for investors. Volatility does not play favorites, and most crypto coins, even more familiar assets, like plain vanilla stocks, can experience the phenomenon of volatility. From the second-largest crypto, Ethereum — and popular established coins like Dogecoin, Uniswap, and Filecoin — to crypto projects you might not know, all have experienced price volatility.

Is Bitcoin Particularly Volatile?

There are at least a few reasons why Bitcoin’s price is so unstable.

Liquidity

In financial markets, liquidity is a concept that relates how much a given purchase or sale of an asset will move its overall price. Liquidity, in general, supports overall asset values. Say you have an item that costs $500 but when you go to sell it, there’s no one to buy it; In that case, the $500 price tag is not very meaningful. Low liquidity may be rendering the price of Bitcoin unstable.

A particular concern with Bitcoin is that a huge portion of all the Bitcoin circulating in the world — at this writing, more than 18.5 million bitcoin — will never be bought or sold by anyone. This could be because the coin is stranded in wallets for which the private keys have been forgotten or because they’re held by investors who will never sell, no matter the price. Moreover, Bitcoin’s existence is finite; no more than 21 bitcoin will ever be mined.

By shrinking the amount of Bitcoin in circulation beyond the limits built into the system, Bitcoin’s liquidity could dry up. This means that movements to buy or sell could quickly influence its price, driving it up or down violently.

Speculation

One of the biggest debates surrounding cryptocurrencies is, what’s it for, exactly? Why are people buying it? For individuals who live in countries with unstable or despotic governments, Bitcoin can be a lifeline of stable value. But for many, it is not an especially convenient payment mechanism compared to the fiat currency of existing banking systems.

And yet, many people are buying Bitcoin and willing to pay ever-higher prices for it. The main reason seems that they expect the price to get even higher in time. Some people think the price will go up because Bitcoin is protected against inflation because of its 21-million cap on coin. Some expect wider adoption of Bitcoin as a payment protocol. And some expect it to become widely used by financial services institutions as a store of value.

The FOMO Factor

Essentially, interest in Bitcoin is generated by the idea that other people are going to buy it in the future, at a higher price than it’s selling for today. This expectation is fed by regular headlines about a company or celebrity buying into Bitcoin and the massive profits people are generating from Bitcoin they bought years — or even weeks — ago. In the crypto community, this behavior is known as fear of missing out (FOMO). Speculative investing like this often leads to volatility, because the price can turn down as sharply as it turns up.

At this time, many analysts believe that the questions surrounding cryptocurrency, as well as FOMO, are precisely what are keeping Bitcoin’s prices high. An asset’s price likely would swing if a large portion of investors are trying to get in front of buyers who come in later. Those who buy a crypto immediately when it comes to market could dump the coin just as quickly. This could happen if an investor made a profit, or they no longer believe that more investors will buy into the crypto.

The Takeaway

Bitcoin’s volatility is based on at least two factors: its potentially low liquidity, and the plethora of unanswered questions about crypto, a still-new asset class. Investors and anyone who follows the news are aware of shocking highs and lows in Bitcoin’s value.

Interested in trading crypto? With SoFi Invest® crypto trading, members can buy and sell popular coins like Bitcoin, Filecoin, and Ethereum. With the convenient mobile app, you can trade crypto 24/7 – even on weekends, holidays, middle of the night.

Find out how to get started with SoFi Invest today.

FAQ

In general, are cryptocurrencies more volatile than stocks?

Yes. Investing in the stock market has been a mainstay of the U.S. economy since the late 1700s. Stocks are also regulated, subject to oversight by the SEC, and other government agencies. Cryptocurrencies as an asset class are quite new, not fully regulated, and do not yet have a proven track record in U.S. markets. As we discussed, crypto is considered a speculative investment. Complex assets — like high-yield bonds, options, mortgage-backed securities, and other derivatives, including crypto — are subject to greater volatility than are plain vanilla stocks.

Which cryptocurrency is the most volatile?

The answer: It changes every day. And, volatility is not selective. Popular coins, like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), take their turns at being “most-volatile” just as often as do the tiny cryptos you might not have heard of . Cryptocurrency’s volatility has spawned a number of reliable indexes that track and report its daily price fluctuations, including Yahoo Finance and Shufflup .

Is volatility a good thing for crypto?

Volatility is neither good nor bad. Rather, it’s a phenomenon that exists in all financial markets for a mix of reasons. Cryptocurrency skeptics might see crypto’s volatility as a danger sign, a reason to stay away. However, sometimes volatility can benefit a new fast-growing asset, like crypto.

This is happening currently, with profit-seeking traders and wealthy venture capitalists streaming toward crypto. Venture capital funding can help seed new start-ups and advance technical innovation. And new money flowing into a sector often brings heightened liquidity, which makes for healthy financial markets.

The FOMO factor, which we discussed above, and just plain curiosity also can have a positive effect on crypto. For example, some large traditional financial services (TradFi) institutions that were prior crypto-naysayers are now showing an interest in the crypto sector.


Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.
Disclaimer: The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.
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Source: sofi.com