We always hear about bloggers with an income that tops some CEOs. The average annual salary of a CEO is $250k, while the top blogs report the same revenue in only one month. Don’t worry; this post is not a “get rich quick scheme.” Making money blogging takes a lot of hard work. You are not going to go off and write your first piece of content today and wake up in a mansion.
Planning your blog to make money
To make money from a blog, you need to plan your strategy carefully. There are several factors to consider. Firstly, blogging is not a side hobby, but something that needs to become your full-time work. It requires quality content that engages the public and is imminently shareable on social media.
The chart above shows that companies who post 16 or more times per month get 3.5 times more traffic than those posting between 0 and 4 times. Putting the time into quality content pays dividends in the long run, especially if your goal is to make money blogging.
Second, to make money from a blog, it must have engaging, useful, and informative content. Realistically, you can write about anything if readers show an interest in it. There are schools of thought that say your blog should be something you are passionate about, but to make money, it needs to be a topic your audience demand.
Blogging to make money is not an opportunity to be self-indulgent or nostalgic about things you love to do. The context of the blog must be the reader first.
Third, make sure there is an audience to write for. You could decide to write about why 11 isn’t pronounced as “onety one” in a very engaging and informative way, but I doubt many people will search for it. If an audience does not exist for your blog, it will not make money.
Finally, plan how you are intending to make money. The quality blog content will draw in traffic, but that is not how you make money blogging. There are probably well over 50 different ways to make money from your blog.
We are not suggesting you do all of these activities, but you need to work out what will be successful for your blog. For example, let’s say you love soccer and see that it’s a hugely popular topic so start writing about it.
You are not a professional player so the audience won’t want to pay to see me show off my skills. Similarly, you might be able to source and sell merchandise, but that adds a whole new element to your strategy. The best option here would be affiliate marketing with product links to earn a commission (affiliate marketing is a topic for another day!).
The most common ways to make money blogging are:
- Ads on your site
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling products (digital or physical)
- Sponsored posts where someone pays you to write about their brand or product
- Services like freelancing or hosting webinars
The time it takes to earn money from your blog can vary. Organically, getting traffic to your blog can take a month or two. Depending on how you choose to make money, it could be six months until you see income.
Over time, as you generate authority, backlinks, shares, likes, and followers, earnings can start to skyrocket. Patience is a virtue in the blogging world. There are methods for accelerating your earnings such as by using paid advertising if you have the capital to invest. As our recent post shows, with so many websites out there, customers need time to find your blog.
As a helpful hint, prioritize making your blog mobile-friendly. Per our previous post, approximately 89% of people who recommend a brand, do so after having a positive mobile experience.
How top bloggers make money blogging
Before moving on to the types of blogs that make money online, it is worthwhile seeing what some of the top bloggers do. For this purpose, we are not including blogs that are more like media publishers such as Mashable or Buzzfeed. Although they are both technically blogs, the focus here is the typical work from home, sit in your PJs money-making blogger.
Tim Sykes is reportedly the highest-paid blogger out there at around $15 million per year (that is not a typo). The majority of his money comes from selling DVD courses that explain how to sell stocks and trade. Checking his Instagram profile, the 1.5 million followers probably don’t do him much harm either.
Elisa Larson and Emma Chapman are popular bloggers for their brand A Beautiful Mess. They make money blogging through a mix of advertising, sponsorships, course, training, and products. Elisa and Emma have a massive social presence across several channels which appears to be the foundation of their success.
Lindsay and Bjork are two of the original food bloggers, running Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro. Between them, their income is around $90,000 per month from advertising, sponsorship, affiliate marketing, and subscriptions. Their loyal following comes from showing others how to create recipe blogs.
There are many more bloggers doing an outstanding job of making money blogging. The three above are examples of different blog types, each of which performs well. The thing they have in common is that they all feature topics that matter a lot to their audience.
Types of blogs that make money
Next, we are going to focus on some types of blogs that do indeed make money. This list is not definitive by any means, but from reviewing the most successful blogs, sticking to these areas looks like the best way to make money blogging.
Financial bloggers like Tim Sykes tend to make good money. There are caveats to this of course.
First, you need to come over as an expert in the field and somebody that people need to listen to.
Second, the posts must be genuinely helpful for the reader.
The writer of Financial Samurai, Sam Dogen, was able to retire at 34 years old, so you would imagine he knows what he is talking about. The blog shares his knowledge and provides tips to subscribers.
Health and Fitness
Health and fitness is a perfect topic to make money blogging as it will always be popular. The best thing about health and fitness is that it is easy to monetize. For example, you can act as an affiliate for products, sell fitness plans, provide workout videos, offer memberships and subscriptions, personal training services, and more.
The best health and fitness blogs have their own niche. There are lots of them out there so if this is your chosen topic, to make money blogging you will have to stand out from the crowd.
Nerd Fitness Blog
Food and Dining
Anything with delicious-looking photos of food is likely to be popular. We spoke about Pinch of Yum earlier in this post, but there are plenty of others that have been very successful in making money from blogging about food.
Show Me The Yummy is full of recipes with appetizing photography. The site is full of advertising and links to back up the income from their subscription service. The blog offers a massive amount of resources for both beginner and advanced cooks.
Again, having a niche is a big part of making money with food blogging. Deliciously Ella has been around since 2012. Ella Woodward set up the blog after she was diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. The aim was to track her eating and experiment with making healthier recipes. Ella sells many products on her blog and ships them worldwide.
Deliciously Ella food blog
Home Decor and DIY
DIY and crafting have always been big and now even more so since the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving people in lockdown. Readers are always researching and looking for home inspiration. To make money blogging, there are plenty of options on this topic.
There are countless unique blogs, each with their own ideas. Shanty 2 Chic is a blog founded by sisters, Ashley and Whitney. The aim of the blog is to show their audience how to create innovative and affordable furniture that turns a house into a home. It mainly features their journey as they create the products.
Shanty 2 Chic is loaded with ads but they also have their own Amazon storefront to sell their “favorite picks” as affiliates.
Fashion and Beauty
Fashion and beauty blogs can get a huge following if the blogger has a unique sense of style. There is a lot of competition in the sector, but if you have a vibrant personality and lots of charisma, this is the one for you.
Tutorials are the way to go with beauty. They can show your products to the world and make you relatable to your audience. As a blogger, that does mean you are competing with the likes of Rihanna and Fenty Beauty, but there are plenty of ways to make money.
The Blonde Salad is the foundation that has given fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni a $200,000 per month income. She started as a personal blog in 2009 and now has built a massive fashion brand. Chiara makes money blogging mainly through product sales after spending years developing her brand equity.
The Blonde Salad fashion blog
A lifestyle blog refers to just about any topic that is hard to classify as anything else. For much of the time, it gives the writer license to post content on whatever they like. As long as it is captivating and something the audience wants to see, they will come back. A lifestyle blog tends to focus more on personal preferences and opinions.
If you type “a cup of” into Google, the first result you see is “A Cup of Jo.” This is a daily lifestyle blog by Jo Goddard covering fashion, beauty, food, design, and parenting. She writes personal stories, features home makeovers, tutorials, and recipes. Jo makes money from ads and her shop, which promotes all the products in the blog posts.
A Cup of Jo lifestyle blog
A different type of lifestyle blog is Vulcan Post. The team post news about technology and products that impact the daily lifestyle of their readers. With millions of readers, although not publicly stated, Vulcan Post offers the opportunity for advertisers to offer up their products for features. It is likely this is where they make money blogging.
Any new parents out there will know how often they scan websites and blogs looking for advice. Parenting blogs that provide great content and information are an excellent income stream.
Mommy On Purpose is full of tips from pregnancy to labor, living with kids, family finances, and how to start your own blog. There are plenty of advertising and affiliate links throughout the site as well as blogging courses.
Blogs for moms will always be successful because parents continually seek out advice.
Making money blogging
There are plenty of ways to make money blogging. Hopefully, this post helps understand some of those that are easier to monetize. However, if you have another idea, don’t be hasty and rule it out.
In reality, anything can work if you put the time, effort, and resources into it. The types listed here are the ones that have proven to generate income time and time again.
With so many ways to make money from blogging such as advertising, affiliate marketing, selling products, and sponsorship, proper planning can make anything possible.
Go out there, find an audience, secure your niche, and get blogging today. If you are looking for help to get started, check out our guide to building a website from scratch.