Make Money

How to Make Money From Blogging Series

By Aug 10, 2011 May 13th, 2012 56 Comments

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Natalie’s segment on women in business/mom-preneurers and how to make money on-line officially kicks off today. To get us started, she is explaining the difference between a blog based business and a blog that makes money. It is an important differentiation that lays the foundation for our discussion on how to make money online.

how to make money blogging

Making money online. Ugh…it has such a slimy feel to it. I bet you can picture these types of sites right now: never-ending sales pages that scream at you with all caps and yellow highlighter.

It’s terrible. It’s in your face. Half of them sell junk and the other half sells good stuff – but their tactics are so similar you can’t tell the difference. All of it gives Internet marketers a bad rap.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Lots of decent people earn respectable livings online through their blogs. They do it without selling out to the yellow highlighter club.

There are lots of ways to monetize your online presence, but most blogs can be categorized into two groups. If you are ready to take the leap into making money (respectably) online, then the first step is to decide which group you want to be.

Blog-Type #1: A Blog that Makes Money

Some blogs make money just by being a blog. It’s your place to promote your ideas. Your words can turn into money (i.e. when you recommend a product) and so can your traffic (hello, ads!).  Basic revenue sources could include:

  • Selling advertising space on your header or sidebar
  • Installing advertising like AdSence
  • Affiliate sales through Amazon, e-Junkie, etc.
  • Product reviews
  • Getting a book deal

The biggest advantage of this method is that you can write on any topic that draws an audience. You get to spend your time being you, being awesome, giving value to your readers with none of the worries of creating products or offering services. You get to be a blogger in the truest sense of the word.

The downside to this method is that it takes a ton of traffic to earn a decent income. You live and die by your stats because that’s what you sell to potential advertisers. What’s more, something like Google AdSense needs crazy high traffic in order for dollars to start adding up. Getting enough eyes on your site can take a while.

Dooce, Pioneer Woman, Finslippy, and the like, all have massive traffic, as well as books. Oh, and I guess I should have added t-shirts to the income-stream list. When you become well known enough, you can merchandise your blog logo.

Blog-Type #2: A Business Based Around a Blog

Other blogs are storefronts for businesses that sell products or services. These bloggers are part business owners, part bloggers. In this model, the blog becomes a place for valuable (and free) information that draws people from casual observer to paying customer. It is the businesses’ number one marketing vehicle.

Since the information is free, the money is made by selling:

  • Ebooks
  • Consulting
  • Tangible products
  • Professional services

Britt Michaelian, Natalie Norton, and Debbie Hodge are three examples of ladies who are masterfully rocking their business using a blog to give value to their readers while simultaneously selling their services.

The upside of this model is that your ability to make money rests solely on the skills and talents you take to the marketplace. You get to be yourself, you get to be awesome and you get to thrive in your niche.

The downside is that your ability to make money rests solely on the skills and talents you take to the marketplace. It can be scary to say, “I’m good at this, so pay me to make it or do it for you.” It also requires blogging skills plus some serious business and technical savvy. The learning curve can be overwhelming.

You can totally do this

The secret to success is support, right? That’s why the incredible team behind SITS – both bloggers and business owners – are taking us on a journey, helping build the skills necessary to take your blog from where it is right now to the amazing, thriving, money making venture you dream about.

No matter which blog model you follow, you’ll need resources and new skills to make it work. You’ll need feedback and a place to bounce your ideas. You’ll also need encouragement and inspiration from women who have been there, done that.

So stay tuned…all of that is coming up. Join me once a week on SITS as I cover how to turn your passion into profit, how to get your business idea off of the ground, the importance of building multiple revenue streams and so much more!


  • Anjie says:

    I wish I could make money off my blog!! That would be awesome.

  • This is great! Thanks so much for doing this series. I’m looking forward to it so much!

  • […] How to Make Money Blogging – The SITS girls are doing it again.  As always there is so much to learn from this site, and this latest series is no different.  Brought to us by Natalie from Moxie Tonic, this series is likely going to rock our world. […]

  • Laura says:

    Thanks that’s some great advice
    I just never know what to charge if people want to advertise on my blog.

    Look forward to reading some more articles and hope all you SITS girls have a great day

    Laura x

  • Anne Galivan says:

    Looking forward to your tips on making money. Seems I’ve read it all but I imagine there are always little tips out there that can make a real difference.

    Lately I’ve been getting requests for companies wanting to advertise on my site but so far none has been a company I would recommend. I think that’s the most difficult thing when it comes to charging for ads…I don’t want to be putting up just any ad because I feel my reputation is more important than the cash (though some cash would be nice!)

  • Srsly I came on her to check in and this topic is so what I needed to read! I can do it .)
    Now I just need to do it.

  • This is a great kick-off! Can’t wait to see what else you have in store this week!

  • Gianna says:

    are you going to cover how to write an ebook or is that somewhere in your archives?

  • Looking forward to more of this series. Thanks!

  • Patty says:

    I just love to write and share my crafts and ideas with others, but heck, if I can get some ad revenue that would be great too! I’ll be staying tuned in for this series.

  • I am looking forward to all this info as I am working to build my blog(s) into a business earning via ebooks and affiliate ebooks and products!

  • Andi says:

    Looks like it is going to be a great series~

  • Thanks for this fantastic post. I’ve slowly transitioned from a portrait photographer to a photography blogger and have seen interest in my site grow. I’ve written 2 eBooks and plan to write more this year. I’m enjoying the process and appreciate what you’re sharing.

    I’ve created my media kit and I’m currently working on a business plan. The business plan was a real eye opener, because it showed me how much money I’d need to make to reach my goals and that’s what changed the direction of my business.

    Looking forward to more from you.


  • amber says:

    I’m really looking forward to this series…thanks ladies!

  • Tammy says:

    Thanks for this great series! 🙂 I have been wondering how to do this successfully. Can’t wait for more great ideas! Thanks! 🙂

  • B.Free says:

    Whew! Add a few more words about blooging, like consistency, persistency, and lots of time needed to develop. I’m a yr in it and still growing, but I’m in it to win it! I love the feeling of accomplishment with blogging. I will be a success story!

  • Really looking forward to this series! I’ve been wanting to make money from my blog for a few months now and am not sure how to go about it. Should be a great series!

  • Brandy at Simply Creative Insanity says:

    Looking forward to the series! I am looking forward to learning and growing!

  • I am tuned in, and listening. For me, the challenge is to be true to who I am. I don’t know that I can do that AND make money.

  • Luci says:

    Sounds GREAT!

  • Lamb says:

    I bookmarked this. Thanks! 🙂

  • Myne Whitman says:

    I just joined the blogHer ad network, lets see how that goes.

  • AJ says:

    Nice site Natalie!

  • Lynne Miller says:

    I have never heard of Finslippy! I have to go check her out!

  • Sounds like an awesome serious. I look forward to what is next.

  • Mimi says:

    Awesome series! I’m looking forward to reading more! My goal and dream is to make all of my blogs my business. It’s a slow but steady process.

  • Teresa says:

    I’m trying to earn through adsense right now and it is incredibly slow!

  • Natalie says:

    First – thanks everyone for the excitement 🙂 Money is awesome only because it opens new doors and possibilities. For everyone feeling overwhelmed by the prospect – hang in there – we’ll go step by step so that it can be doable (doesn’t mean you won’t have to stretch, though!)

  • I’m looking forward to this series!

    I would love to sell some ad space in the future, and possibly have an online shop for vintage cookbooks and linens.

  • Brittany says:

    Can’t wait for the rest of the series. 🙂

  • DeNae says:

    Awesome! I hope these SITS-TAS are reading and feeling empowered by what you’re saying. I’m not trying to promote myself here, I promise, but I want my fellow SITS girlfriends to know that I do offer editing and content help to anyone who is trying to do what you’re talking about. I speak at BBCs with the message that they can TOTALLY do this! And I’m going to be following your series closely. We all have something to learn from each other, and the secret really IS in support.

  • Woo Hoo! I’m looking forward to putting my learning cap on!

  • Dianna says:

    Thanks for this series …. every time I’ve been to a blog conference, I’ve wanted to ask about monetization, but have been too chicken!

  • Elle says:

    Can’t wait to read MOREEE! I’m all about making this work this year! and Learning all that I can!

  • Bekah says:

    I had toyed around with the idea of doing more on my blog to earn money. After attending BlogHer and reading this article, I realized that first I need to work on increasing my readership or else I will earn pennies. 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what advice and tips you have in the next article.

  • Jenny says:

    thanks for the info. I’ve thought about how to turn my blog into something that could earn money, but feel a bit overwhelmed by it.

  • Thank you for this! I can’t wait for the next post! 🙂

  • Thank you for the tips!

  • Tugboat says:

    I can’t wait to find out more about this!

  • I guess I need to get focused so I can get some results!

  • Angie says:

    I can’t wait to see what is in store. I have dabbled in the majority of these avenues. Thankfully, I do make a good amount of money without huge traffic numbers. I still can’t sell ad space, but I definitely consider my blog profitable through just AdSense and affiliate marketing. I do think affiliate marketing success comes more from trust than passing traffic though as is usually the case with AdSense. That trust can take a while to establish.

  • Susan Silver says:

    Spot on advice here. I’m working on moving my blog into more niche stuff for selling consulting but I also want to do sponsered posts and affliate links. Those are the things I feel most comfortablt with.

  • Jenny says:

    I’m really excited about this! I just started a new blog to market eBooks that I’m in the process of writing, so this will be really helpful

  • So excited to read this series! I’ve always wanted to find different ways to make money through my blog!

  • TriGirl says:

    I am working on being Type #1. My bog is young and small but it is picture-based. Zazzle.com lets you design your own t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, totes, etc… I just upload a picture I’ve already drawn, write a clever saying, and have my blog name on the back. It costs me nothing, I decide on my royalties and they design a product only once it’s ordered and they ship it. I have no overhead, no pile of products I’m trying to sell off. I started a couple of weeks ago and I’ve already sold some shirts and note cards 🙂

  • Dana says:

    Thanks for sharing. I will be following along

  • Natasha says:

    I’ve often thought and toyed about doing this…but it looks and seems so complicated that I’ve never gone for it. I felt overwhelmed before I’d even started!

    Looking forward to the interesting read though…

    Happy hump day ladies.

    Last post: Wednesday Wonderings

  • I’m looking forward to it!

  • Melissa says:

    This feels like such a hard thing to accomplish. I wish I could make money off of my blog so that uncoils stay home with my baby.