I decided to make a huge list of resources today for anyone who either already has a blog or is thinking about starting one. The following are several ways you can begin monetizing a blog.
Please keep in mind that if your site is very new, you may not be able to get in on some of the affiliate programs I mention. Some of those do require that your site is at least a few months old before they will accept you.
No blog yet? I have some instructions on setting up a blog in ten minutes or less.
Monetizing a Blog
Blogging Ad Networks to Join
- Google Adsense – Adsense is PPC (pay per click). Some of the ads may also pay per impression (a set amount depending on how many times they are viewed). You cannot click your own ads and you cannot ask others to click for you or you'll get banned from the program. More people use Adsense than any other network. You can get paid via check or direct deposit once you have accumulated $100.
- Media.net – Delivers targeted ads based on the content on each page. This company pays net 30 if you have $100 accumulated via wire transfer or Paypal. High volume publishers can possibly get paid net 7 after their fourth payment.
- Mediavine – I've been hearing a lot of good things about this network. You can get accepted if you have a Google Adsense account in good standing and you receive at least 30,000 page views per month.
- AdThrive – I use this network and have been very happy with them. They install and manage the ads themselves for you, so you don't have to worry with it. They are pay per impression and mine has been higher than it is with other networks. You do have to have at least 100,000 page views per month to qualify to join.
Other Popular Publisher Ad Networks For Bloggers
- BlogHer Publishing Network – This one is very popular for blogs geared toward women. Ads are pay per impression. You have to place their ads near the top of the page (above the fold). Your blog must be at least 90 days old to be considered. They pay 45 days after the close of each month as long as you have earned more than $25. Pay is by check or Paypal.
- Federated Media – This one is used by many blogs with very high traffic, and it's not easy to get in.
- Sovrn – This one is owned by Federated Media and works with more “small-time” bloggers. Pays every 30 days.
In-Text Advertising For Bloggers
These are the little ads that pop-up within the text when you hover your mouse over them. Lots of people find them annoying, but they can definitely earn you money.
- Infolinks – This is the one I use and recommend. They are easy to get in with and pay monthly with Paypal, bank transfer, Payoneer, ACH, or via Infolinks prepaid Mastercard. They also have lots of options for tweaking the ads to make them look how you want. $50 minimum payout.
- Vibrant Media – Has in-text ads and also display and in-image ads.
Popular Affiliate Networks For Bloggers
When you sign up to be an affiliate, you earn money (either per lead or per sale) when your readers sign up for something you recommend. There are several different networks to join with hundreds of campaigns you can pick and choose from to promote. Always try to do this honestly and only promote things you feel are worth recommending.
If you are looking to learn how to monetize a blog without ads, affiliates are the way to go! Although you can certainly use both at the same time if you don't have a problem with display ads.
- Panthera Network – Lots of offers for surveys, get paid to sites as well as many other things. They pay with a $50 minimum via check or Paypal.
- ShopHer – ShopHer pays like clockwork on the 15th of each month via Paypal. They have lots of money-saving and paid survey type offers. Usually great for mom, money-making, and/or deal blogs.
- Share a Sale – This is a very large network with a huge variety of offers, similar in many ways to Commission Junction. They pay monthly as long as you've accumulated $50.
- Escalate Media – This network is popular among “mommy” and “deal” bloggers because they have a lot of offers that fit with those kinds of sites, but you may find a lot you can use there even if you don't have a site like that. This company pays monthly with just a $25 minimum.
- She Is Media – Lots of offers that appeal to women in general.
- Linkshare – Like Commission Junction and Share a Sale, this one has a little of everything.
- Amazon Associates – Earn a commission on Amazon product sales. Pretty easy to get in. Not available in some states.
- Commission Junction – A huge network with hundreds and hundreds of offers available in every category you can imagine. Payment minimum is $50.
If you can't find something you'd like to promote inside one of the above networks, send an email to see if the company has an affiliate program you can sign up for. Many companies manage their own affiliate programs independently.
Automated Affiliate Marketing Options For Bloggers
If affiliate marketing intimidates you, or you can't get in with some of the popular ad networks, you might consider automating the process. Programs like the ones mentioned below will affiliate any and all relevant links on your blog so you don't have to worry about doing it yourself. Just write your content and relax knowing that these programs are working in the background. Many bloggers use these networks to ensure there are no missed earning opportunities.
- Viglink – Setting this up is simple. You'll receive earnings monthly no matter how small. Tons of major partners including Amazon, Ebay, Wal-Mart, etc.
- SkimLinks – I haven't tried this company, but they are similar to Viglink.
How to Sell Your Ad Space Directly
If you want to learn how to monetize a website without signing up for any service, selling ad space directly is always an option. Just create an “advertise here” page on your site and link out to it from your homepage. If potential advertisers see this, they may contact you to advertise.
While I only make a small percentage of my money from direct advertising, it's still earns me a couple hundred per month. Nothing to sneeze at!
Writing Sponsored Posts For Advertisers
Another way of monetizing a blog is via sponsored posts for companies. Sometimes this also leads to opportunities to review products (meaning you get free products).
If this interests you, here are some sites to consider registering your blog with:
- Linqia – Sign up as a “storyteller” and receive invitations for sponsored posts.
- Tap Influence
- Weave Media
- Clever Girls Collective
- Massive Sway
- Mom Central
- Mom Spark Media
- SITs Girls
Misc. Ways to Monetize Your Blog
These options don't really fit into one category:
- Put a Paypal “Donate” button on your site.
- Get your blog on Amazon Kindle.
- Sell digital products on your blog. Examples are e-books, e-courses, printables, and so on.
- Sell physical products on your blog. Examples – crafts, printed planners, etc.
- Sell services on your blog. Examples – coaching services, virtual assistant services, freelance writing services, etc.).
- Promote a direct sales company on your blog.
Sometimes you need a helpful, written guide to understand how to get a blog going and start seeing a return with it. Here are four of the very best:
- Blog By Number – This one is my TOP e-book recommendation!
- How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul
- How to Make Money Blogging – How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog
- Pro-Blogging Secrets: Strategies, Tips, and Answers You Need to Grow Your Blog and Earn More Money
There is only one blogging course I've taken personally and highly recommend, and this is Elite Blog Academy. It's not open all the time — usually just a few times per year — but it is fantastic and I credit it completely for taking me from 300,000 page views per month to nearly 800,000 page views per month in just one year's time.
I will be adding to this list as I come across more options! Feel free to chime in with your recommendations. 🙂 I also encourage you to visit the blogging page in my directory for a more thorough list.