How to monetise your blog (part 2): advertisements, products and services

Apr 25, 2014 by
How to monetise your blog (part 2): advertisements, products and services

To recap from part 1, getting sponsored is perhaps the most lucrative monetisation strategy for your blog. Finding a sponsor that aligns with the ethos of your site and sells products that you truly believe in can make the difference between blogging as a career or as a hobby.

While the payoff for finding a great sponsor can be huge, there are other methods you can use to monetise your blog, especially in the interim or if your goal is to create a bit of supplementary income as opposed to generating enough money to live on.


It seems that banner and text advertisements are as old as the web itself, but don’t think that such techniques are archaic – they are still a valid way to generate money today. There are useful digital marketplaces such as BuySellAds where you can attract a company to pay you to post their advertisement on your website. Be warned though, BuySellAds do take a hefty commission on any deal struck. In relation to the points raised in part 1, compromising the integrity of your site for the sake of advertisements will ruin your users’ experience and make them lose trust in you. For this reason, you should only choose to advertisements from companies that you believe will provide value to your users.

If you’re not having much luck with finding a company directly, you may want to try Google Adsense, which acts as an advertising network where advertisers bid for a spot on your site. Adsense is quick and easy to set up, but to earn a reasonable amount of money you need to have asuperb amount of traffic.

However, if you want to maintain complete control over the company’s that advertise on your site, Adsense may not be for you. Going down the avenue of affiliate advertising may be a wise alternative decision because you can choose from companies that you already like, but this may not be as lucrative. Whatever you decide to do, make sure any advertisements are presented neatly and in a way that doesn’t distract from your site’s content. Don’t go overboard by plastering your pages with ads – it looks awful and you may even get a penalty from Google.

Products and services

If you already sell physical products and you’re using a well designed, content-rich, SEO friendly blog to help you market them, great job. However, if you started blogging simply as a way to express your thoughts on a subject you’re passionate about, thinking about the commercial ramifications usually comes later on.

Since blogging requires you to formulate your thoughts in a specific way and hone your writing skills, coming up with an e-book represents a popular monetisation strategy for many bloggers. Since there are pretty much no overhead costs, the only challenge is creating an e-book that offers significantly more value than your free blog posts (this is a must if you want to actually sell the thing – people do talk)! One popular way of doing this is to collect all your best posts on a given subject and rewrite them into a cohesive narrative for e-book form.

Once your blog is generating large amounts of traffic, this puts you in a position of authority to speak about your niche to a wide and receptive audience – for this reason many bloggers choose to market their services as public speakers and workshop providers.

First things first though: you need to make sure your blog is popular before even you start thinking about productisation. For example, personal development blogger Steve Pavlina famously used the traction he gained with his site to secure a book deal and successfully advertise his services as a public speaker. Other products you can sell include:

  • t-shirts and clothing
  • downloadable music and videos (as long as you have the rights to do this)
  • posters, stickers, badges
  • digital courses

If you’re feeling really daring you could even create your own potentially life-threatening hot sauce, like Maddox!

Members-only content

MoneyIf your blog has a high readership, you can offer really great premium content, and you’ve already done market research which suggests people would be willing to part with their cash, then perhaps offering a membership subscriptionwould be a way for you to monetise your blog. If you believe that your level of knowledge puts you in a position to offer content which will significantly benefit the lives of your readers, particularly if these benefits are tangible and/or monetary, then this alternative monetisation strategy might be for you.

Bringing it all together

With so many options for monetisation, what’s the best way to start? Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to making money from your blog, and for better or worse there’s usually a fair amount of trial and error before you figure out what works for you. That being said, it is beneficial to start small and work your way up. For example, adding some affiliate links to recommend products that you like and implementing a couple of AdSense banners is an easy way to get the ball rolling for a fledgeling blog.

However, once your online presence has really taken off, then (and only then) it might be time to go searching for a lucrative sponsorship deal from a big name company. Whatever you decide to do, there’s no point in trying to monetise a blog that doesn’t have regularly updated high-quality content that people love to read. Before you even think about monetisation there are 3 factors your blog should have in abundance: traffic, traffic and more traffic!