This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and choose to make a purchase I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. See our disclaimer for more information.
Can you really make money online?
This is a question that many people ask who want to start a blog to make money. You are either ready to leave your love-less job or are just looking for something new and want to know how you can start making money online.
Yes, it is possible to make money online with your blog.
I want to let you in on the BIG secret, are you listening?
The key to making money online is to set up multiple income streams.
Don’t get me wrong it takes determination and hard work to get there, but it is possible.
Today I am going to talk to you about what an income stream is and discuss some of the major income streams you can use to start earning money online with your blog.
Don’t have time to read now? Make sure you Pin it and SAVE this post for later!
Make money online with multiple income streams
What is an income stream?
An income stream is a way in which you can earn money. Pretty straight forward definition.
Like I said before the best strategy is to set up multiple income streams for your blog. This way if one income stream starts to falter then you still have income coming in.
The most common income streams to make money online include:
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
- Selling digital products
- Selling online courses
- Selling membership programs
- Selling physical products
- Selling services
Now let’s dive into each one of these.
Make money online with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing involves promoting someone else’s product and earning a commission on any sale made through your unique affiliate link.
If you are brand new to affiliate marketing then I highly recommend the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. This course takes you through the basics of affiliate marketing and strategies on how to get your first affiliate sale.
One of my favorite part of the course is it comes with a highly engaged online Facebook community where you can get ongoing support and ask questions about affiliate marketing or blogging in general.
Common Affiliate programs you can get started with include:
- Amazon Associates
- Brand Cycle
- CJ Affiliate
- Affiliate programs of other blogger’s products
Related: How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
Make money online with Ads
When it comes to making money with ads it is all about the page views. The more impressions you get of an ad the more money you can make.
When a person views a page there can be more than one ad on the page with each accounting for their own impression. Some ad networks will also pay for clicks.
Possible Ad Networks to consider:
Make money online with sponsored posts
A sponsored post is when a blogger writes about a product in exchange for either product or monetary compensation.
One way to find sponsorship opportunities is by working with an influencer network. Here is a list of blog networks to look into:
- Social Fabric
- The Blogger Network
- Acorn Influence
- Weave Made Media
- Social Stars
- The SITS Girls
- Clever Girls
Make money online by selling digital products
Digital products have the potential to make you the most profit. A digital product is something that you put in the initial effort to create and then you can resale again and again. There is no associated cost of shipping because it is all digital. Digital products can be set on an evergreen system where you do not have any “handling” costs either.
Types of digital products that I regularly interact with include (next to each one I have listed examples that you can check out.
- Ebooks (Pinteresting strategies)
- Premium WordPress Themes (ex. Bluchic)
- Premium WordPress plugins (ex. Social Warfare)
- Styled Stock Photography (ex. Haute Stock)
- Fonts (ex. Creative Market)
- Digital Illustrations
- Social Media templates (Canva templates)
Possible platforms that you can use to sell your digital products include SendOwl and GumRoad.
Related: 150+ Best Blogging Resources for the Online Entrepreneur
Make money online by selling online courses
Online courses are another form of digital product.
How do you know whether you should create a course or something like an ebook?
Well, that depends on your audience and the material. Online courses tend to be viewed as more video based where an ebook is usually just text material. Sometimes online courses are perceived as having greater value. Like I said before, the type of material you create will depend largely upon your audience and what they are willing to purchase based on the perceived value.
Generally there are two levels of online courses. The lower tiered course and then the Signature course. The signature course is a higher priced item and more extensive. One example is with Melyssa Griffin. Her signature course is Blog to Biz Hive, which is only open 1-2 times per year and in the $1000 price point. Her lower tiered courses include List Surge and Pinfinite Growth, which are evergreen courses more around the $200-300 price range.
Two popular platforms that you can use to host your online courses are Teachable and Thinktific.
Make money online by selling membership programs
A membership program is where you offer monthly benefits for either a monthly, semi-annual or annual fee. One characteristic of membership programs is that each month there will be new type of content available. From a content creator perspective there is more work required to maintain this type of online income stream. As previously discussed with a digital product like an ebook you just have to put in the work initially and then you can continue to sell it. A membership program requires ongoing “digital product” development.
Examples of membership programs that I have interacted with include:
- Haute Stock (A styled stock photography membership site where new images are added at least twice a month)
- VidfluentialU (A membership program by Jessica Stansberry all about creating video content)
- Pursuit HQ (A membership program by Melyssa Griffin with each month covering a different topic)
Make money online by selling physical products
Selling physical products through a virtual store is another way to make money online. You do not necessarily have to have a physical shop where people come in person to buy, but you can sell all of your products online. You can either make the product in house or use a drop shipping company like Printful. You create the design and they will print it and handle all of the packaging and shipping. This is popular with items like shirts, sweatshirts, hats and other non wearable items like mugs, wall art, pillows and phone cases. There is a base rate that Printful makes from the product and any profit you make will depend on how you price your item.
Make money online by selling services
Offering service packages is another possible income stream to make money online. One downfall to services is you are trading your time for money. So if you are craving the “be your own boss” lifestyle then you may want to limit the types of services your offer or avoid this type of income stream altogether.
Time to Take Action!
Let’s recap! If you want to be successful at making money online from your blog then consider your plan of action and the types of income stream you want to incorporate into your blog. By having more than one income stream you will continue to make money even if one income stream starts to falter.
For anyone just starting out the easiest way to get started would be affiliate marketing. Any new blog can start affiliate marketing right from the beginning. If you are interested in affiliate marketing then I definitely recommend checking out the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course from Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. This is an action packed course that will give you the confidence you need to start making money with affiliate marketing.
Now is the time to think about your blog and how you want to turn it into a business.
Make a list of the income streams you want to include and start to make a plan or timeline of when you will incorporate them into your website. If you have any questions about the different income streams and making money online let me know in the comments below.
Don’t forget to Pin and SAVE this post for later!