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How to Make Money with Any Size Blog [case study]

Making money on any size blog means knowing the different ways bloggers make money and having a plan

The biggest reason more than 90% of bloggers fail to reach their income goal is because they get caught up in the question, “How much traffic do I need to make money?”

It’s a fair question and one that you would naturally ask as a beginner blogger. Many of the income sources seem to increase as your traffic does. Get more eyeballs on your blog and your income should go up, right?

But you’re asking the wrong question. Asking this question usually gets the lame response for new bloggers, “Don’t worry about making money, just concentrate on building blog traffic first.” The problem is that building traffic can be excruciatingly slow and not making any money for your time isn’t motivating enough to keep bloggers in the game.

Instead, ask the question, “How do I make money on a small blog?”

I’m first going to show you that any size blog can make money and then give you three income sources you can use to make money now.

I love the interaction and community we’ve built through the YouTube channel and am planning a lot more videos like this one. Click to join the community on the Let’s Talk Money channel. It’s free and you’ll never miss a video.

Why I Hate the Blogging Traffic Question

This question though, how much traffic do I need to make money blogging. It’s one of the most common among bloggers and I absolutely hate hearing it. I hate it because I know that someone is going to tell that blogger they shouldn’t worry about monetizing their blog and should just focus on building traffic for a while.

It’s bullshit and it’s the reason 90% of bloggers stop before six months of starting their blog.

The fact is, if you have one visitor then you can make money. You might not get rich but even making a little off your blog will give you the motivation to stick with it and grow over time.

how much do bloggers make each monthAccording to my 2018 blogger survey, the average blogger is making $1,500 on about 13,000 monthly visitors.

That’s not bad on something that might take all of 10 hours a week but I don’t want you to be average. I want you to be exceptional!

The fact is that most blogs don’t get that much traffic so you can’t depend on adsense or other advertising to make money. Google pays less than a penny a page view when you work through the numbers…that’s not enough. Even the average blog would make less than $150 on that.

what is average blog traffic

How to Make Money on a Small Blog

Making real money blogging, like WTF money, means understanding those other blogging income sources that will make your digital real estate a six-figure asset.

Look at Lena of What Mommy, she consistently makes around $10k a month through affiliates, advertising and sponsored posts.

how much money can you make from a blogCarrie of Careful makes over $8,000 on affiliates, brand sponsorships, coaching and digital products and that’s not including her freelancing income.

how much do bloggers make a yearI made $67,000 on my five blogs last year, a 91% increase from 2016 and not including $22,000 from freelancing. All because I took the time to learn different income sources and build a strategy.

blogging income last year

Let’s look at some of the ways bloggers are making money before we get to that four-step plan to start making money on your blog.

These are the percent of bloggers using each income strategy.

how do bloggers make money sources

I want to focus on three of the strategies here; affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and self-publishing.

How to Use Affiliate Marketing on a Blog

Affiliate marketing is the most popular because it makes huge money and is pretty easy to do. You just include a link to an affiliate product and if a reader buys the product, you get a commission. I averaged just over $3,000 a month on affiliates in 2017 so about half of my blogging income.

To boost your blogging income, there are two types of posts you want to do for every affiliate. The first is a review post where you focus the entire article on how to use the resource and why. These are really easy to rank on Google and bring super-focused readers interested in the product.

The second post is a comparison of all the products related to that affiliate. These are popular because they give readers choices.

How to Get Sponsors for Your Blog

The next blogging income source is sponsored posts. This is where someone pays you to put an article on your blog with a link to their website. I averaged $600 a month on sponsored posts last year because I took my foot off the gas and was really focusing on other sources but I could have made a lot more.

The trick to making money with sponsored posts is to know how much a post on your blog is worth. Even new blogs should charge at least $100 for a post and you should be increasing the price each year.

My Favorite Blogging Income Source

The final income source that even beginner bloggers should be using is self-publishing and printables. This is a natural fit for bloggers and is my absolute favorite source for passive income.

I averaged $1,857 a month last year and any size blog can make money because you’re selling your books on the world’s largest ecommerce site, Amazon.

how to make money on any size blogI make money from seven different sources and there are some great ones we didn’t cover. Another one I would recommend, especially for beginner bloggers is freelancing.

Don’t miss the interview I did with Kayla Sloan on how to create a $10,000 a month freelancing business in less than a year.

But I really want to get to this four step strategy to make money on a blog.

This is the exact process I used to grow my blogging income to $2,000 a month by the end of the first year, to almost $4,000 by the second year and how I now make over $7,000 a month blogging.

First, and I hope this is something you picked up from the rest of the video, is don’t wait to build blog traffic.

Have a monetization strategy that includes multiple sources from day one.

You can start with some ads on your blog but also start developing those other sources like affiliates and self-publishing.

Second, learn the different ways bloggers make money. I include nine of the best ways to make money blogging in my book, Make Money Blogging. I start with the easiest, fastest sources like advertising and affiliates before detailing the sources that make thousands a month.

Each chapter is a step-by-step on how to get started and how much you can make in income sources like coaching, webinars and creating your own products.

best entrepreneurship books to readYour third step to make money blogging is to blend affiliate marketing and self-publishing into your regular content schedule. With affiliate marketing, this means scheduling to post a review or comparison article at least once a month.

With self-publishing, you can plan out your book chapters and post them on your blog each week. This makes it easy to stay on track to complete your book and your blog posts become natural marketing channels to sell the book when its published.

Finally here, develop a plan to increase your traffic that includes search engine optimization or SEO. Most bloggers avoid SEO because they think its too technical but it’s so easy and really separates the amateurs from the professional bloggers. There are two parts of SEO that you want to use to rank number one on Google and get thousands of free visitors a month, on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

Making money on any size blog is about knowing the different income sources and which ones pay off immediately. Focus on these few sources first while you grow your blog and then develop into other ideas to monetize your website. Using this strategy will give you the motivation to keep growing and create an asset that can eventually become passive income.


  1. Hi. I am just starting blogging and thanks for the video because I want to start monitizing right away. How do I identify companies that I can do affiliate marketing for?

  2. One of the best guides on blogging, I was really interested in blogging.
    Thanks for sharing such important information.

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