Usually, a personal blog is the result of a passion or a strong interest in a particular field. But even though the idea is often part of a hobby, bloggers invest a lot of time and energy in their projects.
This investment can become profitable and it is possible to make money with your blog by offering professional content. If certain conditions are met, there are many options available to you. This first part presents the basics of a business blog and outlines the main sources of income for bloggers.
Basic rules to observe
A personal blog does not necessarily generate great profits from the start, even if it is of professional quality.
Behind this new business which is very successful often hides a fairly substantial time-consuming activity. If you want to embark on this adventure professionally, you’ll have to learn how to show a lot of patience.
Indeed, making a blog profitable is neither easy nor fast. Professionalism and discipline are the prerequisites if you want to make money with a blog. But that’s not always enough to break into the coveted web marketplace.
Identify a niche and exploit it
A common mistake among private bloggers trying to make money from their content is due to them not focusing on a specific topic.
As soon as you start a blog, it is important to identify a niche area that particularly interests you; you will be able to reach a specific target and build a solid base of loyal readers. It is this particular audience that is lucrative for advertisers. Indeed, these advertisers will for example opt for the placement of an advertising banner on your blog.
Segmentation of your target audience plays a very important role for businesses, especially in providing targeted advertising placement as part of an affiliate marketing strategy.
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Among conventional advertisements in the field of printing, the value of the advertising placement is determined by the number of prints. It’s different in the blogosphere: the determining factor is related to the traffic generated by the content.
For many advertisers on the web, paying for ad placement on a blog that only has 100 visitors per day isn’t worth paying. But this is not an absolute truth: for some companies, a reduced readership can be interesting, especially if the audience reached is specific and segmented.
Typically, traffic generated is a big deal in cost per click (CPC) and affiliate marketing. But generating significant traffic to your blog can only be possible if you show endurance and commitment. You have to know how to conquer your readers, by showing consistency and by publishing current and relevant content.
It is only with a solid base of loyal readers that you will be able to make money with your blog.
If you have blogging ambitions then it is advisable to seriously consider a web hosting package.
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The importance of a blogger network
Networking is a prerequisite for the success and relevance of any blog. This is why you sometimes have to put aside your competitive spirit and create links to other blog pages related to the topics covered.
It does not matter whether you share an article or whether it is cited, the links with this supposed competition offer you a double advantage: first of all, your readers appreciate this enriching “service”.
Usually, however, they do not leave your blog page to go to the site to which you have inserted a link. Rather than worrying about losing this readership, bet on engaging content by sharing content with your peers.
It is also important to take into account that Google evaluates the quality of the links that you insert on your blog (as well as that of your backlinks).
This link web is calculated positively by the Google algorithm and improves your ranking in search results.
Make money with a blog: classic sources of income
What are the sources of income most common for bloggers? Discover in this first part how to monetize your blog, and in the second part how to generate profits indirectly without having to make advertising placement.
Direct marketing allows bloggers to rent advertising space from advertisers on their site or blog. This space can become very profitable if you manage it independently, that is, without using online services like AdSense, because all the profits then go directly to you.
However, this independent management also means more work, especially for acquiring new partners on the Web. In practice, blogs can display the fact that they have advertising space available, and gather all the necessary information (media data, price of ads, availability, etc.) at the bottom of the page.
With infomercials (or advertorials ) bloggers can make a profit from editorial content, not advertising. For this, the blogger publishes an article on his page about a theme, a particular product, or a predefined subject, or takes an article written by a company or agency (and which is therefore adapted to a target).
The blog’s traffic and the relevance of the topics will determine the amount of compensation. In many marketing agencies, cooperation with bloggers is now the norm. But it’s often difficult for professional bloggers to find the right balance between sponsored articles and natural content.
With affiliate marketing, it’s all about recommending a product or service. Registration is generally free for bloggers on partner programs.
Bloggers get credit when a reader clicks on the link of the article or service that was recommended on the blog. This intermediation provision is on average 3 to 10% following the conclusion of the contract. The most popular intermediaries are Affilinet, and Amazon’s associates program.
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Advertising per click: cost per click (CPC)
Cost per click (CPC) ads are a good solution to easily place advertising on your page. By far the most well-known online service for this type of ad is Google AdSense.
With cost-per-click ads, the advertising content is related to the theme of the blog. Compensation is calculated based on the number of clicks. As a result, the more traffic a blog has, the more cost-per-click ad integration should be profitable for the blogger.
Alternative strategies to earn money from your blog
Banners and direct advertisements have arguably become in recent years the best way to regulate and provide a source of income for bloggers. There are, however, other ways to make a profit and make a blog profitable. Here we present some alternative solutions.
Marketing your own products on your blog
A blog that offers quality content can easily market products or services. Bloggers use their expertise in a certain area to provide product or service offers to their readers.
As a freelance worker (for example as a photographer or web designer), it is possible to post articles that relate to your activity, to better offer professional services afterward.
Journalists also often use their blog for self-promotion, to be contacted by major newspapers or magazines, and to make a name for themselves. Among the offers, there could be, for example, video tutorials, e-books, or seminars that relate to the field of activity covered by the blog.
Provide paid content
Another option to monetize your blog is to make paid access to certain content (integration of Paywalls, literally “paywall” in English).
In this case, it consists of making a part or all of the access to a site or a blog paid. The paid glad (paid content) is a common funding model among the magazines or newspapers, which often offer packages of a monthly subscription to have free access to the entire content.
Usually, a number of articles are available free of charge to pique the reader’s interest. With plugins such as Tinypass, it is possible to configure paid access for certain articles on WordPress. Another possibility is to create a closed and paid group, accessible only to members ( premium content ).
Funding from donations
Blogs can also be funded by donations from visitors, incorporating a donation call button that invites readers to support financially the blog. Unlike the model with paywalls, all content is freely accessible here.
Service providers such as Flattr make it an easy process to donate. Flattr nevertheless requires that donors be registered on the platform. It is also possible to integrate a direct option for recording donations on the blog, which is sufficient to transmit your bank details.
A final way of making money from a blog is to sell links.
Selling and renting links is the primary source of profit for bloggers and website administrators as these links are not shown or marked as advertising.
The main disadvantage of link selling through websites like Rocketlinks or Seedingup is the fact that it can lead to penalties from Google as this process goes against their guidelines. The consequences are then a downgrading of your natural referencing on Google.
Rules to follow for professional and commercial blogs
Your blogs can only survive if you follow certain rules and guidelines. If a blog is no longer kept solely for personal and private purposes, it is then necessary, for example, to declare the profits generated by the blog or systematically display its legal notices. Here is a selection of the main rules to observe:
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- Identification: a blog must provide several information:
- The name of the director or co-director of the publication.
- The name , denomination or company name , address and telephone number of the host.
- For individuals: surnames, first names, address and telephone number and (if subject) registration number in the trade and companies register (RCS).
- For legal persons: name or company name and registered office, telephone number, registration number in the trade and companies register (RCS) and share capital.
- A professional blog must be declared: in many cases, a professional or commercial blog must be declared. A simplified declaration is generally sufficient and it is therefore necessary to fill in the online forms with the requested information.
- Advertising and affiliate income: It is obvious that all income must be declared to the tax authorities and may also sometimes be subject to social charges. The majority of bloggers choose the simplified status of autoentrepreneur.
- Sponsored articles and advertisements: We have said this before, but the advertisement should not be obscured or misleading and a sponsored article should be clearly identified as such.
- The display of legal notices and image rights: a blog which is not protected by password or which is dedicated only to a restricted circle of readers requires to display the legal notices and identification. The same goes for pages created on social networks. Another important point to watch out for is that of image rights . You’ll findout in our article about copyright on the Internet all the main aspects to remember in terms of copyright and the pitfalls to avoid. Another important issue for bloggers is image rights. Finally, a blog must respect intellectual property and the blogger is responsible for the content posted by third parties.
How much can a blogger earn?
We have seen in the previous sections how to make money with a blog in general. However, we still do not know how high the monthly income of bloggers can rise. A simple and general answer to this question is very difficult. Indeed, bloggers have several sources of income but more importantly, the latter can be completely different from sponsored articles to paid advertisements, etc.
In addition to popularity and traffic, the subject (the theme of the blog) obviously plays an essential role. For example, a professional fashion or travel blog could potentially earn more income than an exotic animal blog (simply because the latter’s target group is much smaller).
In France, blogging is now profitable
In France, it is also possible to make a living with a well-managed blog. However, in any case, it takes many months and sometimes even painstaking years to develop a profitable blog, and in this first phase the blogger earns little or no money.
It is only with increasing notoriety that a blog becomes interesting for advertisers. In the beginning, therefore, donations and the sale of products or services are often the only sources of income. But once you have established various partnerships and a stable financial base, then in theory there is no limit to what you can earn.
Nevertheless, it is estimated that the minority of major American bloggers manage to achieve incomes that fluctuate between $5,000 and $10,000 per month.
The most lucrative blogs on the market
Blogs can cover a wide variety of topics: fashion, sports, music, lifestyle, etc. Each industry has its popular blogs, each with its own journey and various success stories. Sometimes the activity of some bloggers can go far beyond just writing posts and articles on a blog.
Indeed, popular bloggers like influencers on social networks even serve as experts at conferences. They are sometimes also requested for events or used to create or promote a range of products. An example that perfectly illustrates this point is that of the project “The Blonde Salad”, launched in 2009 by Chiara Ferragni as a fashion blog. Today, the Italian is known worldwide and collaborates with many fashion magazines while maintaining a strong activity on social networks (on Instagram in particular). She also launched her own shoe collection (Chiaria Ferragni Collection). All of its activities allow it to generate an income of almost 10 million euros per year, which is colossal and obviously remains exceptional.
Finally, below is a shortlist of famous bloggers worldwide:
|Blogger||Domain||Sources of income||Income estimate|
|The Smart Passive Income Blog||Pat Flynn||Marketing||Affiliate marketing, product sales, podcasts, and private conferences||$ 180,000 / Month|
|Making Sense of Cents||Michelle||Finance||Affiliate marketing, direct marketing, product sales||$ 120,000 / Month|
|Pinch of Yum||Lindsay & Bjork||Food||Affiliate marketing, direct marketing, sponsored articles, PPC (pay per click) advertising, private conferences||$ 70,000 / Month|
|Just a Girl and Her Blog||Abby Lawson||Lifestyle & Décoration||Affiliate marketing, product sales||$ 30,000 / Month|
|ShourMeLoad||Harsh Agrawal||Blogging & Internet||Affiliate marketing, direct marketing, product sales, PPC (pay per click) advertising||$ 30,000 / Month|
|MatthewWoodward.co.uk||Matthew Woodward||SEO||Affiliate Marketing, Consultant||$ 22,000 / Month|
|True Valhalla||Matthew||Software development||Product sales, direct marketing||$ 10,000 / Month|
|JohnnyFD.com||Johnny||Voyage||Affiliate marketing, product sales||$ 8,000 / Month|
|Single Moms Income||Alexa||Tips for saving and saving||Affiliate Marketing, Sponsored Articles, PPC (pay per click) advertising||$ 6,600 / Month|
Make money with your blog: tips and advice to get started
If you have decided to make money from your blog, then it is necessary to set a course and start the process for marketing. Keep in mind the importance of specialization and owning appropriate web hosting.
Getting more traffic and new relationships with other bloggers is a must, it’s a long process that requires a lot of patience. There are, however, a few tips to speed up the success of your blogging project.
- Showcase more content : Many bloggers only display a small number of articles or posts on their homepage. If there is a great number of reading material and therefore a greater selection, it increases the chances of attracting the interest of visitors and therefore of gaining new regular readers. Increasing the length of visit also has a positive impact on search engine rankings. However, it is important in this step to keep in mind the importance of the loading time.
- Using Teasers : With an image and a short, catchy text that works as a “teaser”, you increase the likelihood that your articles will be read. Ideally, you write these short texts yourself, which should arouse the interest of readers. However, many content management systems also offer features that automatically generate blurb from the first few lines of your article. This is a handy solution when you don’t have enough time to devote to crafting a teaser.
- Insist on the “call to action” : it is important to emphasize and indicate to your readers that you offer newsletters, products and or services in addition to your classic editorial content in order to earn money with your blog. Forms, buttons etc. must be correctly positioned in order to be well perceived by the users. If you want to integrate several call to action into your blog, it is important not to make the mistake of giving each one the same importance. Rather, it is advisable to highlight some, so that visitors are not overwhelmed by an overly confusing selection.
- Analyze user behavior : If you are setting up and customizing your blog to get new visitors, to increase the length of visit and also to improve the conversion rate , then it is important to analyze the effects and impacts of these adjustments. Using web analytics software like Google Analytics, you will be able to see if a metric brought more traffic or increased the conversion rate of visitors. It is recommended that you do not perform all of the optimization steps at once. Indeed in such a case it is difficult to determine the impact of the adjustments and you won’t be able to verify the measures which have precisely contributed to the success of your blog.
Make Money With A Blog: Summary Of The Most Important Options
In our guide, we just showed that it is important to spend a lot of time and invest for the long term before you can make money with a blog. It is only when your project has enough traffic that it becomes interesting for agencies and advertisers and you are more likely to take advantage of any pioneering partnerships that may arise.
Finally, we have summarized the different sources of income in the table below:
|Direct marketing||Rental of advertising space on the blog||✔ Self-determining price, no commission fees||✘ High investment (especially for customer acquisition)|
|Sponsored articles||Editorial, paid contribution on a given subject or theme or on a product||✔ Combines advertising with information relevant to the reader||✘ Must be indicated as such; can sometimes negatively impact the blogger’s credibility with readers|
|Affiliate Marketing||Recommend products or services in an article||✔ Possibility of making money with little effort, and possibly even with restricted traffic||✘ The blogger only wins when the mediation is successful (if the reader follows the link and makes a purchase); steers users off the blog.|
|Advertising per click, cost per click||Rental of advertising space via an external service||✔ Advertisers should not be sought||✘ The blog operator receives money only when the reader clicks on the ad; income per click is, therefore, dependent on traffic.|
|Sale of products or services||In addition to editorial content, the blogger also offers services or products||✔ Additional services add value to visitors and help attract new regular readers.||✘ High effort; also risks losing readers with too much information and too many products or services on offer.|
|Paid content||The blog or certain elements are unlocked only if a plan is paid||✔ Stable source of income; blogger is not as dependent on traffic as affiliate marketing||✘ Requires a strong image and an appropriate target group; web competition of similar free content|
|Dons||The reader is actively encouraged to support the blog financially (on a voluntary basis)||✔ Easy to integrate source of income that can be very useful in the start-up phase||✘ Not suitable for professional blogs of a certain size|
|Sale of links||Selling links in articles||✔ Simple source of income; treatment through specialized services||✘ Unspecified advertising links violate Google guidelines|
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