Generally, a personal blog is the result of a passion or a strong interest in a particular field. But even if the idea is often part of a hobby, bloggers invest a lot of time and energy in their project. This investment can become profitable and it is possible to earn money with your blog by offering professional content. If certain conditions are met, many possibilities are available to you. This first part presents the basics of a commercial blog and exposes the main sources of income for bloggers.Summary

  1. Basic rules to observe to make a blog profitable
  2. Make money with a blog: the classic sources of income
  3. Alternative strategies for making money from blogging
  4. Regulations for professional and commercial blogs
  5. How much can a blogger earn?
  6. Earn money with your blog: tips and tricks to get started
  7. Making money with a blog: summary of the most important options

Basic rules to observe to make a blog profitable

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 have to know how to show a lot of patience. Indeed, making a profitable blog is neither easy nor quick. Professionalism and discipline are wagering requirements if you want to make money with a blog. But that’s not always enough to carve out a place in the coveted web market.

Earn money with your blog

Identify a niche and exploit it

A common mistake among private bloggers trying to monetize their content is not focusing on a specific topic. It is however more interesting from a strategic point of view and in order to keep your motivation intact to define a specific theme that you will deal with and that you are passionate about. When creating 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 target that is lucrative for advertisers. Indeed, these advertisers will for example opt for the placement of an advertising banner on your blog. Segmenting your target group plays a very important role for companies, especially in providing targeted advertising placement as part of an affiliate marketing strategy.Advice

A relevant domain name including a corresponding domain extension can help your blog establish itself in the market over the long term. Since November 21, 2016, it has been possible for website operators to register, for example, a domain with .blog, which therefore indicates to visitors from the start the nature of the site. With IONOS you also have the possibility to register your own URL with a .blog .

Generate traffic

Among traditional print advertisements, the value of ad placement is determined by the number of prints. It’s different in the blogosphere: the determining factor is related to trafficgenerated by content. For many advertisers on the web, it is not worth paying for an ad placement on a blog that only has a hundred visitors a day. 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. As a general rule, the traffic generated is a decisive criterion in the areas of cost per click (CPC) and in 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 being consistent and by publishing current and relevant content. Only with a solid base of loyal readers can you make money from your blog. In this context, accommodation should be specified. If you have commercial ambitions, then it is advisable to seriously consider the question of hosting for your blog .

The importance of the network between bloggers

Networking is a sine qua non 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 doesn’t matter whether an article is shared or quoted, the links with this supposed competition offer you a double advantage: first of all, your readers appreciate this enriching “service”. Generally, they do not leave the page of your blog to go to the site to which you have inserted a link. Rather than worrying about losing that readership, focus on compelling contentby sharing the content of your friends. It is also important to take into account the fact that Google evaluates the quality of the links that you insert on your blog (as well as that of your return links, or backlinks ). This good exchange of processes is calculated positively by the Google algorithm, and improves your ranking in search results . Learn more about backlinks in our Digital Guide to SEO Basics and Tips for Optimizing Your Blog with WordPress .

network between bloggers

Make money with a blog: the classic sources of income

What are the most common sources of income for bloggers? Discover in this first part how to monetize your blog, and in the second part how to indirectly generate profits without having to place advertising.

direct marketing

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 to say without using online services like AdSense, because all the profits then go directly to you. But this independent management is also synonymous with more work, in particular for the acquisition of 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, ad prices, availability, etc.) at the bottom of the page.

Sponsored Articles

With infomercials (or advertorials ), bloggers can make a profit through editorial content and not through 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 suitable for a target). The reach of the blog, the traffic it generates and the relevance of the topics determine the amount of compensation. In many marketing agencies , cooperations with bloggersare now the norm. But it is often difficult for professional bloggers to find the right balance between sponsored articles and natural content. Note: it is very important to report sponsored articles as such. Note

Sponsored articles must be indicated as such. The blogger is paid to write an article more or less directly for a product, service or company. If he does not mention it, then it is disguised advertising which is prohibited by law.

Affiliate Marketing

With affiliate marketing, it’s all about word of mouth . Registration is usually free for bloggers on partner programs. Bloggers get a retainer when a reader clicks on the link for 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 matchmakers are Affilinet , and Amazon ‘s Affiliate Program .

Advertising per click: the cost per click (CPC)

Cost-per-click (CPC) ads are a good way to easily place advertising on your page. By far the best-known online service for this type of ads is Google AdSense . With cost-per-click ads, advertising content is related to the topic of the blog . The calculation of the remuneration is done according to the number of clicks. Therefore, the more traffic a blog has, the more profitable the integration of cost-per-click ads should be for the blogger.

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Alternative strategies for making money from blogging

Banners and direct advertisements have undoubtedly 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 offer product or service offerings to their readers. As a freelancer (for example as a photographer or web designer), it is possible to post articles that relate to your activity, to better offer professional services afterwards. Journalists also often use their blog for self- promotion, to be contacted by major newspapers or magazines later and make a name for themselves. Among the offers that can be published, there are, for example, video tutorials, e-books or even seminars that are related 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 is a question of making part or all of the access to a paid site or blog. Paid content is a frequent funding model among magazines or newspapers, which often offer monthly subscription plans to gain free access to all content. Typically, a number of articles are freely available 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, by integrating a call for donations button that invites readers to financially support the blog. Unlike the model with paywalls , all content here is freely accessible. Service providers such as Flattr make it easy to process donations . Flattr nevertheless requires donors to be registered on the platform. It is also possible to integrate a direct option for the registration of donations on the blog, in which it is sufficient to transmit your bank details.Advice

If you want to earn money with your blog by having a PayPal account, it is possible to create an individual donation button directly on the official online payment service website . For this, it is necessary to configure the amount of the donations (individual or fixed amount), the currency and the language. Then you just have to embed the generated HTML code into your blog. ]

Selling links

A final possibility for making money from a blog is to sell links. Selling and renting links is the main source of profit for bloggers and website administrators, because these links are not listed or marked as advertising . This is the main disadvantage of selling links, because even if websites like Rocketlinks or Seedingup promise quick income, it can lead to penalties from Google, because selling links is against the guidelines of the leader in search engines . The consequences are then a downgrading of your natural referencing on Google. 

Regulations for professional and commercial blogs

For-profit blogs can only survive if certain rules and guidelines are followed. 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 to taxes or to systematically display its legal notices. Here is a selection of the main rules to observe:

  1. Identification:  a blog must provide several pieces of 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 natural persons: surnames, first names, address and telephone number
    • For legal entities: name or company name and registered office, telephone number,
  2. Advertising and affiliation 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.
  3. Sponsored Articles and Advertisements: We have already mentioned this, but advertising must not be hidden or misleading and a sponsored article must be clearly identified as such.
  4. The display of legal notices and image rights: a blog that is not protected by password or which is only dedicated to a restricted circle of readers requires the display of 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 . Discover in our article on 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 above all, these can be completely different ranging from sponsored articles to paid advertisements etc. In addition to popularity and traffic, the topic (the theme of the blog) obviously plays a vital role. For example, a professional fashion or travel blog could potentially get more revenue than a blog about exotic animals (simply because the latter’s target group is much smaller).

The most lucrative blogs on the market

Blogs can cover a wide variety of topics: fashion, sports, music, lifestyles, etc. Each industry has its popular blogs, each with its own path and various success stories . Sometimes the activity of some bloggers can go far beyond simply writing blog posts and articles.

Indeed, popular bloggers are like influencers on social networks and 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 for many fashion magazines while maintaining a strong activity on social networks.(especially on Instagram). 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.

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Finally, here is a short list of famous bloggers worldwide:

 BloggerDomainSources of incomeRevenue estimate
The Smart Passive Income BlogPat FlynnMarketingAffiliate marketing, product sales, podcasts and private conferences$180,000 / Month
Making Sense of CentsMichelleFinanceAffiliate Marketing, Direct Marketing, Product Sales$120,000 / Month
Pinch of YumLindsay & BjorkFoodAffiliate marketing, direct marketing, sponsored articles, PPC (pay per click) advertising, private conferences$70,000 / Month
Just a Girl and Her BlogAbby LawsonLifestyle & DecorationAffiliate marketing, product sales$30,000 / Month
ShourMeLoadHarsh AgrawalBlogging & InternetAffiliate marketing, direct marketing, product sales, PPC (pay per click) ads$30,000 / Month WoodwardSEOAffiliate Marketing, Consulting$22,000 / Month
True ValhallaMatthewSoftware developmentSale of products, direct marketing$10,000 / Month
JohnnyFD.comJohnnyTravelAffiliate marketing, product sales$8,000 / Month
Single Moms IncomeAlexaTips for saving and savingAffiliate marketing, sponsored articles, PPC (pay per click) ads$6,600 / Month

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Earn money with your blog: tips and tricks to get started

If you have decided to make money with your blog, then it is necessary to set a course and start the process for marketing. Keep in mind the importance of specializing your theme and having proper hosting. Getting more traffic and new relationships with other bloggers  are must-haves, it’s a long process that requires a lot of patience. There are, however, a few tricks to speed up the success of your blogging project.

  1. Optimize loading time : an Internet blog is only accessible via the Web. The potential reader therefore has the same expectations in terms of user experience as for other Web projects. In addition, a good structure and a fast loading time are particularly important. This loading time is influenced by the choice of blog or content management system as well as the hosting environment. If you are using a CMS, then you can improve loading time with plugins like Lazy Load for WordPress sites. The plugin guarantees that images load only when they enter the viewing area of ​​the player.

  2. Feature more content : Many bloggers only display a small number of articles or posts on their homepage, or even give up on featuring editorial content altogether . If there is a greater number of reading materials and therefore a greater selection, this increases the chances of attracting the interest of visitors and therefore of gaining new regular readers. Increasing visit duration 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.

  3. Using teasers : With an eye-catching image and short text that works as a “teaser”, you increase the likelihood that your articles will be read. Ideally, you write these short texts yourselves which must arouse the interest of the readers. However, many content management systems also offer features that automatically generate blurb from the first lines of your article. It’s a handy solution when you don’t have enough time to devote to crafting a teaser.
  4. 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 users. If you want to integrate several calls to action in 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.
  5. Analyze user behavior : If you are configuring and customizing your blog to get new visitors, to increase visit duration and also improve conversion rate , then it is important to analyze the effects and impacts of these adjustments . With the help of web analysis software like Google Analytics , you can observe whether a measure brought more traffic or increased the conversion rate of visitors. It is recommended not to perform all optimization steps at once. Indeed in such a case it is difficult to determine the impact of the adjustments and to be able to verify the measures that have precisely contributed to the success of your blog.


If you want to devote yourself fully to the creation of editorial content and the optimization of your blog, then managed hosting is the ideal solution for your project. In fact, in this way, you not only get a hardware structure optimized for the needs of your blog , but also assistance in installing, managing and updating your favorite blog software. With IONOS Managed WordPress Hosting, installing WordPress is just a few clicks away, and database and security updates are automatically saved. Moreover, the main plugins, themes and extensions are available and ready for use. Finally, the support team is always available to answer your questions and help you solve any problems.

Making money with a blog: summary of the most important options

In our guide, we have just shown that it is important to devote a lot of time and invest in the long term before you can make money with a blog. Only when your project has enough traffic will it become attractive to agencies and advertisers and you will be 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 marketingRental of advertising space on the blog✔ Self-determinable price, no commission fees✘ High investment (especially for customer acquisition)
Sponsored ArticlesEditorial, 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 MarketingRecommendation of products or services in an article✔ Ability to earn money with little effort, and possible even with restricted traffic✘ The blogger only wins when the mediation is successful (if the reader follows the link and makes a purchase); directs users away from the blog.
Advertising per click, cost per clickRental of advertising space via an external service✔ Advertisers should not be sought after✘ The blog operator receives money only when the reader clicks on the ad; revenue per click is therefore dependent on traffic.
Sale of products or servicesIn 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; there is also a risk of losing readers with too much information and too many products or services offered.
Paid contentThe blog or certain elements are unlocked only if a plan is paid✔ Stable source of income; blogger is not as dependent on traffic as for affiliate marketing✘ Requires a strong image and an appropriate target group; web competition of free similar content
DonationsThe 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 linksSelling links in articles✔ Simple source of income; treatment through specialized services✘ Unlisted advertising links violate Google’s guidelines

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About the Author

SAKHRI Mohamed

Founder & Editor

Passionate about the web, new technologies and IT, I share on tutorials, tips, advice, online tools and software for Windows, Mac and Linux.

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