If you search Google for ways to earn money online, one of the most popular methods is starting a blog. It's stated as one of the slow yet effective ways to earn money online.
When I created my blog, my goal wasn't to monetize it. I just loved writing and wanted to do it on my own terms. Also, as a technical writer, I wanted to learn more and I think writing is one of the best ways.
However, I have been able to generate some profit through my blog. For that reason, I'm listing in this article a few ways I've made profit from my blog.
Costs of Creating a Blog
Before you start talking about earning if you're creating your own blog you should think of the spending.
Generally speaking, when you create a blog you need to think about the costs of hosting and domain name. If you're not tech-savvy, then you might also need a developer to set it up and maintain it, but I won't get into the details of that.
There's a way to obtain both of those things for free, actually. I've listed some resources before in my ultimate guide of things you can do for free.
In my case, I've already purchased a personal domain, so I just used a subdomain of it to use for my blog.
As for the hosting, it depends on the type of blog you're running. In my case, my blog uses Ghost CMS as a headless backend and I connect it to a frontend built on Gatsby. This gives me more flexibility in the type of hosting.
I can host my Gatsby blog on Netlify for free due to their generous free plan. As for the backend, I started off with free hosting on Heroku. It was slow and limited, but as it was only for me to use to upload blog posts and didn't affect visitors' user experience, I had no issue with it.
Once I started earning some profit from my blog I switched to hosting my backend on DigitalOcean. Again, as I am the only one using the backend, I opted for one of the cheaper plans.
If you're considering hosting your own blog my tip for you is:
- If you need to get a domain name for free you can either use an existing domain and add a subdomain to it, use free domain name providers, or use subdomains provided by some hosting websites like Netlify.
- Consider going for the headless CMS approach to have more flexibility for your hosting.
Alternatively, you can use websites like Medium, Dev.to, or Hashnode to create your own custom blog.
One of the most common ways to make a profit off your blog is using ads, so I won't make this one long.
So many blogs go for Google ads. However, in my case, I was able to get Carbon ads instead. The reason I prefer Carbon ads is that the ads aren't annoying and are all engineering-related. So, the ads are relevant to my blog visitors.
A lot of marketing companies write posts for their clients and look for blogs to post them. Usually, the posts are general posts that include a do-follow link to their client. When they post it on your blog, they pay you for the posting fees.
I started working with a bunch of marketing companies and individuals for that. However, it's important for me to ensure the quality of the content being posted on my website and the quality of links, as well.
If you have subscribers or followers, you should be careful with what kind of content you're sharing. Making a profit is not worth spamming them with content that's not relevant for them or educational.
So, I always do a review of the posts to be posted on my blog. I make sure its content is true, informative, and if it links to a client then it's not a scam.
If you're interested in doing this, you can have a Collaborate or Business page on your blog detailing how this process works. You can also try contacting digital marketing agencies to offer your services, however, I personally haven't tried that.
On my blog, I have a section called Reviews. It's all the articles I've written for clients who have asked me to review their products or services. You either get paid or get something related to the product like a free subscription forever.
Article reviews are not easy to find, because you're usually contacted by the company to write the review for them. However, I recommend that if you get an opportunity to write a review for a product in the beginning and it's not paid, take it. You can use it to showcase your work for future work with other companies.
Again, quality is important for your blog. So, make sure when you take on collaboration with companies, make sure it's something you believe in and something that is relevant for your blog's content.
Some companies don't want you to write a full article for them. They're just interested in you adding a link to their website on your website. They either pay you for it, add a do-follow link for your website on theirs, or share your website through their social media platforms.
If you do this one, you have to be careful with the quality of the websites you're linking to, as it can bring down your domain name rating if you link to websites with low-quality content.
Writing for Other Websites
Although this is not a profit directly coming from your own blog, it's related to it. Building a blog can be like building a portfolio for writers. You give other companies or agencies a taste of what you can do.
I was able to write on a lot of websites like SitePoint and ButterCMS because of all the writing I've done on my blog. It builds your experience and helps you a lot when applying to write for other agencies or websites.
It's important to note that monetizing your blog can be a slow process. You need to make sure that you have quality content and you're consistent with your posting. That helps you gain regular readers and subscribers and will increase your ranking in search engines.
As your blog grows in quality, more opportunities to monetize it will come your way. Focus on the quality and durability of it first.