Beginning bloggers want to know if it is even possible to make money blogging.

Bloggers that have been at it for a little while want to know how to better monetize their blogs.

Your Mom (or maybe even your spouse) wants to know how do bloggers get paid.

The answer is really quite simple.

The same way everyone else does: by offering something of value in exchange for money.

Which means before you can start making money on your blog it has to be a valuable place on the web. The type of value you blog has to offer will differ on how you want to monetize your blog.

There are five main ways bloggers make money: ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, products, and services.

In this article I am going to break down what each of these means so that anyone can understand how bloggers make money and get paid.

Each section will start out explaining how blogs are monetized with that plan and then answer the following questions:

  • who pays the blogger
  • when can beginning bloggers start making money with that method
  • tips for getting your blog ready for making money via that route.

This post is beefy. I wanted to give you the most in-depth overview on how you can make money blogging. Feel free to skip to the sections you are most interested in.

  • Ads
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Products
  • Services


Let’s start here because ads are probably the most well-known way bloggers make money.

How does it work? A blogger signs up for an ad network to place ads on their site. Most ad networks use targeted ads. Meaning the ad changes depending on who is view the blog, the content on the blog, and or the content the viewer recently visited.

Popular ad networks bloggers belong to

  • Adsense – no monthly minimum to apply
  • Adthrive – minimum of 100,000 monthly pageviews
  • Mediavine –  25,000 monthly sessions
  • Sovrn – no monthly minimum to apply

The two main ways bloggers get paid through ad networks are per impression or per click.

Paid per impression – with these ads, the viewer does not have to click on the ad in order for the blogger to receive an income. They are paid per impression, which is how many times the ad is seen.

Paid per click – every time someone clicks on the ad, blogger receive a small amount of money for that click.

Here’s a recap on how making money with ads works. Sovrn shares the following,

“advertisers pay website owners based on how many people have seen their ads. Every time an ad is seen by a reader, that’s called “an impression.” Because there are billions of ad impressions every day, advertisers pay based on intervals of 1,000 impressions or CPM (cost per mille impressions).”

When you are ready to place ads on your site, your ad network will coach you through where to place the ads. Here are some common areas you will see ads on blogs:

  • Sidebar, frequently sticky
  • Header
  • Over images (personal side note: if find these annoying, but lots of bloggers are making good money from it)
  • In post after x amount of paragraphs
  • Sticky footer on mobile


In most cases, the ad network a blogger is associated with pays the blogger a monthly income. Occasionally, brands will reach out directly to a blogger to place an ad on the blog. In that case, the brand would negotiate a rate and pay the blogger directly.


Beginning bloggers often try making their first money with ads and quickly become frustrated when they are making pennies a month.

The reason beginning bloggers can’t make money from ads is because they do not have enough traffic. So, while you can place ads on your site at any time, realistically you won’t make very much money unless you are getting around 25,000 pageviews a month.

You are better off waiting until you hit that 25,000 pageview mark and then adding ads to your site.

I tried going through Google Adsense’s application process for my mock blog. I set up this blog for my beginning bloggers course. It had 4 posts and a fully designed home page. Google did not approve my application for AdSense stating that site was not developed enough. So even with the big G you need to have an established site before you can place their ads on your blog.


As mentioned above, if you want to make money with ads you need traffic. Lots of traffic. How do you get more traffic to your site? The first is step is to have quality content that people actually want to read. The next step is to market that content. Pinterest is my favorite way to get traffic to my blog.

If you want to make money with ads focus your efforts on epic content and marketing. When it comes to making money via ads this will be your primary focus before you hit the magical 25,000 pageviews and after.


Affiliate marketing is where a blogger establishes a connection with a company and then promotes that company’s products and or service. Each blogger is given a unique URL to the company’s website. When a viewer clicks that unique link and then purchases from the company, the blogger receives a commission.

Commissions are given to the blogger in a percentage of the sale or a fixed amount per sale or lead.

There are a few ways bloggers can become affiliates for companies. You can become an affiliate directly through the company’s affiliate program or by joining affiliate marketing networks and finding affiliate programs to join there.

Find an affiliate program for a specific company

If you have a company or product in mind that you’d like to be an affiliate for go on a quest to find their affiliate program.

First, head to the company’s website and scroll down to the very bottom of their website. Many company’s include a link to their affiliate program in the site footer. Sometimes the affiliate program is not as easy to find. Next, try doing a site search on Google. “affiliate program”.

Different companies will use different terms for affiliate programs. Some are referred to as partner programs, rewards program, referrals program. Try a few different variations to see if you can find the affiliate page.

If you are unable to find an affiliate program try reaching out directly to the company and asking. Dig around for an email address, contact box, or try connecting on social media.

Become an affiliate for other bloggers or influencers.

Are there bloggers inside your niche or a complementary niche that have created and are selling their own product, course, or ebook? You can reach and see if they have an affiliate program set up.

Although they might be the “competition” becoming an affiliate for them could be a mutually beneficial relationship.

You can sell their product and talk about it on your blog. This will help you earn and income and help them generate more sells. Often times, when you write your review + affiliate post the blogger will share your post with their audience (because it’s promoting them). This will help you grow your audience as well.

So not only are you making money but you are increasing your reach!


Most of the time, an affiliate is paid through an affiliate network. Even when I’ve found affiliate programs directly through a company’s website, they have used a network to manage tracking my links and paying me. Payouts are usually made on a monthly basis when the minimum amount of sales are made.

Other times, commissions are payed directly from the company whose products you are marketing.

Keep in mind that the commission percentage is typically higher for digital products than physical products.


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