10 Non-icky Ways to Make Money Blogging

How to Make Money Blogging or Monetize Your Blog

Can I be super honest here and say that some of the ways to “make money online” just sound and seem icky. Icky* beyond belief . . . and yes, icky is my very grown up way of saying it.

Some people have Scam McSammerton written all over them and their online “businesses.” And to them I say boo, because they’re reflecting poorly on the rest of us who want to earn honest Internet monies. The kind I want to share with you today.

{*A special thanks to Naomi (@Naomi_Hattaway) for using the word “ick” in a comment and inspiring today’s title.}


What this is: An overview of the multiple ways you can make money blogging (a.k.a. monetize your blog, a.k.a earn revenue through your blog). I personally use methods 3 – 7 below, as you can see on my Monthly Blog Income + Traffic Reports that I share with you.

What this is not: Magic. Sorry Charlie; this all involves hard work. By the by, who IS Charlie, and why are we always apologizing to him?

You have permission: Some people feel bad about making money online and I think it’s because there are so many dishonest ways to do so. However, I just want you to know, you have permission (not that you need it). You have permission to be amazing, to pour your heart and hard work into your blog, to spend time sharing your interests + quirks, to spend your days making the Interwebs more useful and beautiful with your art, voice, and love. You have permission to make a few dollars off of promoting products you would share anyways, and making things you’re compelled to make, even if you were doing it for free.

It’s okay when others don’t care to make money online, but if anyone tries to make you feel craptacular for wanting to do so, refer them to this post and the following message: Stop being a hater + bringer-downer of creative, hard-working people. Basically, get a life. And brush your teeth. I think your breath stinks. Thanks, Regina.


Things to keep in mind:

>> Your main focus in your blog’s early days will probably need to be creating awesome content, but having monetization strategies in place can make you a little money and get you used to managing your chosen programs early on. You will learn a lot about affiliate marketing + digital goods, etc. through trial and error.

>> Making money from a blog takes concerted effort and can take a long time. You have to try methods, assess, readjust, drop some methods, add others, and get good at creating content and optimizing your blog to make good money.

>> Multiple streams of revenue will be your friend, and I’ll explain why later. You’ve probably never, ever heard a silly little phrase about not putting all your eggs in one basket, so here’s Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald singing it, and here’s Fred Astaire + Ginger Rogers sing-dancing it. Of course, they’re romanticizing the concept, and I want you to think the opposite. Eggs in one basket = bad. Major head nod to Irving Berlin for this and many, many other amazing pieces of music that I grew up on. Love you dude. Thank you.


{and now for} 10 Non-sleazeball Ways to Make Money Through Your Blog



How to make money online, the non-sleazy way


1a. Pay Per Click (PPC) ad networks:

Pay per click ads are web advertisements that you can place on your website (through code) that {theoretically} deliver targeted ads to your audience. You earn a small amount each time one of your blog visitors clicks on a particular ad. Google AdSense is probably the most widely known program to offer PPC ads. These ads can be hit and miss, as in, sometimes the ads delivered will not be a good fit for your readers. However, PPC ads are a very low-maintenance form of blog monetization and can eventually be decent earners for you.

Example programs:

Where they go on your blog: PPC ads can go in your sidebar, header, or footer, and sometimes even between blog posts or throughout your page content (this last one is not my favorite and seems tres, tres distracting).

Who they are best for: PPC will work best on high traffic blogs because enough people need to see them in order to get enough clicks that translate into real revenue for you. This doesn’t mean you can’t put these ads in place while your blog is still in its early stages . . . just don’t expect to pay your mortgage with PPC each month yet.

In use:
One of my favorite bloggers, Ciera of Ciera Design, has Google Ads in place on her site:

Pay Per Click ad network in use on Ciera Design's blog


1b. Pay Per Impression ad networks:

Pay per impression ads (often called CPM for cost per impression or cost per thousand impressions) are web advertisements that you incorporate into your blog (through some provided code) that deliver targeted ads to your audience. >>> Very similar to PPC, right? However, you earn a small amount of $$ each time the ads are viewed. So, in theory, any visitor to your blog who scrolls to an area where you display CPM ads is earning your blog a bit of change. CPM blog advertisements have the same “hit and miss” potential as PPC; some ads just won’t be relevant to your readers, but hopefully most will.

Example programs:

Where they go on your blog: Pay per impression ads typically go in your sidebar, header, or footer.

Who they are best for: Just as with PPC, “per impression” ads earn best on high traffic blogs because you need the higher number of visitors for the larger amount of impressions/views. Many networks that pay per impression require that your blog has a minimum number of monthly page views in order to apply to their program (among other qualifications you might need to meet) so they can provide maximum value to the companies paying for the ad space.

In use:
One of the food blogs I love, Pinch of Yum, has BlogHer Ads in place on their site:

Pay Per Impression ad network in use on the Pinch of Yum blog


2. Custom web advertisement space:

You can sell individual advertisement “blocks” or spaces on your website/blog to companies and brands interested in reaching your target market and frequent readers. When choosing a brand to partner up with, make sure you do your best to build a profitable relationship with them. I know I probably don’t have to tell you this, but you only want to take their money if you think your blog is a good fit for them and that they’ll “get their money’s worth,” in essence.

This makes for a happier advertiser (who can spread good word of mouth) and someone who will want to be your repeat advertising customer. There are really two main ways to go about recruiting advertisers: (1) develop a media kit that explains your readership, social influence, and rates, then contact potential advertisers with your kit and make it available on your blog so advertisers can find you, or (2) use a third-party service or “middleman” to facilitate the sales of ad space.

Example programs:

  • you can manage your web advertisement space on your own or through a plugin
  • you can also use a company such as Adproval or Passionfruit

Where they go on your blog: Custom ad space is typically in a sidebar, header, or footer, but it can also be mid-page as well.

Who they are best for: Custom ad space is best sold on blogs with a very specific and consistent readership or on large blogs with a good handle on who their readers are. Some ad management programs such as Passionfruit will have certain qualifications you need to meet in oder to apply, but if you’re managing your ad space on your own, there are no external qualifications >>> you just have to convince advertisers to spend their $$ with you.

In use:
A popular destination for fashion bloggers, The Independent Fashion Bloggers blog, uses Passionfruit to manage their ads and fill some of their sidebar:

Passionfruit ads at work on the IFB blog


3. Product-specific affiliate programs:

You can make money from your blog when people buy products and services linked from your site that have attached affiliate/partner programs. You can find these programs in one of three main ways: (1) if you know specific website/blog owners who sell products or services, they just might offer an affiliate program that you can easily find on their website, so take a look around; (2) any larger companies you know of that sell services, digital products, and physical goods may also have a partner or affiliate program; I recommend making a list of all the products, software, and services you use regularly in relation to your blog, then researching to see if those companies have an affiliate program in place from which you can be making money; (3) you can use affiliate networks to join the affiliate programs of multiple companies and receive combined payouts.

P.S. The way to make affiliate programs non-sleazy, is to only promote stuff you actually feel adds value to the people who read your blog. I would be highly embarrassed if you were reading my blog and one day clicked on an ad or affiliate link and bought something that was utterly useless or annoying to you. The mere thought of that leads me, and many other bloggers I know, to only sign off on stuff we love and, for the most part, use regularly.

Example programs to which bloggers can apply:

Where they go on your blog: Affiliate links/image ads can be in your blog’s sidebars, posts, pages, emails, PDFs, social media shares, and more. Certain programs will have limitations on what you can say/imply with your links and advertisements, as a way to protect themselves and you.

Who they are best for: Errrybody. If you have ever found a product or service you believed in and felt compelled to share with friends, then you are perfect for partner or affiliate income. You work really hard on your blog and your recommendations turn into real sales (that likely would not have otherwise happened) for companies. Why not earn a percent of that?

In use:
A blogger I really enjoy, Bethany of Love Grows Design, uses affiliate/partner links to an e-course she really believes in from a company called Braid Creative. After reading just one of Bethany’s posts, you’ll be able to tell that she’s genuine, so you’re hopefully likely to assume her links are meant to be helpful and valuable. You can see the links in use below on her Facebook page and in a blog post.

Love Grows Design Blog


4. Affiliate/associate hybrid programs:

Affiliate/associate hybrids have a slightly different earning potential for your blog than product-specific affiliate programs. These hybrid programs will give you a small commission of any product the person (who came from a link on your blog) buys. As an example, if you clicked on one of my Amazon.com affiliate links for a book, but got to the site and bought a spiral vegetable slicer, I’d still make a commission. Or, if you bought the book but also bought a TV, I’d make commission on both items.

Example programs:*

*Each of these affiliate program for bloggers varies, so be sure to check the policies of each one to determine exactly how you’ll earn commissions and what those commissions will be.

Where they go on your blog: This type of affiliate link/image can be in your sidebars, posts, pages, emails, PDFs, social media shares, and more. Just as with product-specific affiliate programs, certain hybrid programs will have limitations on what you can say/imply with your links and advertisements, as a way to protect themselves and you.

Who they are best for: Errrybody again. No matter your blog’s traffic level, you can probably find relevant, useful links to products you would normally buy from Amazon, or Target, etc. Again, as long as you are being genuine and trying to add value, you almost can’t go wrong.

In use:
As an example from my own site, I integrated some Amazon Associate links into a post where I was recommending some business books.

Amazon Associates program for bloggers


5. Selling your own services:

Selling your own services from your blog can do a lot more for you than just the money they earn. The additional benefits come in the form of establishing your reputation & authority in your field, when you offer items such as those below.

Example services you can offer from your blog:

  • coaching/consulting
  • speaking engagements
  • workshops and seminars
  • recipe creation (food bloggers)
  • online webinars

Where they go on your blog: You can advertise your services from your posts or pages, your sidebar, your header, your footer, your social media accounts, and anywhere else you can think of.

Who they are best for: As long as you have something valuable to say, are comfortable (or can get comfortable) with helping and communicating with clients, and can package your information so that people receive it well, then selling your own services could be a great fit for you.

In use:
One of my new favorite Interwebs personalities and entrepreneurs is Melissa Alam (@RingTheAlam). For ultimate entertainment and business savvy, you can check out her Instagram and Twitter accounts. P.S. Don’t really click on those links because you’re likely to develop at least a smidgen of a girl crush. Melissa hosts various workshops that give you a huge dose of your creative entrepreneurial Wheaties. She’s genuinely helpful for free on her blog, so people probably feel compelled to work with her in person. When Sleaze McGee’s are trying to sell you something, you will feel icky or mistrusting, when someone with Melissa’s expertise is selling, it’s really more like sharing something ultra valuable that you trade a little $$ for.

Melissa Alam, workshops and trainings for entrepreneurs


6. Selling your own digital products:

Developing digital products to sell from your blog can be some of the most rewarding, hassle-free money you’ll ever earn. Typically you only have to develop a digital product once (though it may need tweaks and updates), then you can sell it into infinity and beyond.

Example digital products you can offer from your blog:

  • eBooks
  • e-courses
  • email courses/challenges
  • guides/downloads
  • pre-made designs, patterns, or templates
  • software
  • or anything else that can be delivered electronically

Ugh. Now that I think about it, I guess even (don’t read this part kids) “adult web movies” are an example of digital products. Gotta be honest here . . . not a big fan of those at all. You’re welcome for that highly relevant tidbit.

Where they go on your blog: You can advertise your digital products in the same way you do your services: from posts, your sidebar, header, footer, PDFs, other products, your social media accounts, and anywhere else you can think of.

Who they are best for: Again, as long as you have something of value to communicate, and are able to package that value as a digital good, you may want to try selling digital products. When you’re first starting out, have trusted friends or advisors in your niche review the products before you sell them. P.S. Always hire an editor for written work. We’re human. We’ll inevitably make mistakes.

In use:
One of the {seriously y’all} best resources for bloggers on the net is Julie DeNeen (@jdeneen4). The articles on her blog are in-depth and literally fabulous. She has developed a digital Social Media & Blogging Bootcamp that you can purchase as a pack, or as individual lessons. I purchased the one below but there are several interesting topics.

Blogging and Social Media Bootcamp Challenge


7. Selling your own physical products:

I’m guessing “selling your own physical products” is a bit self-explanatory, so let’s move on to some examples to get your mind going.

Example products:

  • physical books
  • handmade goods
  • prints
  • gift baskets
  • custom clothing
  • anything you want to create

Where they go on your blog: Not only can you have a “shop” or “store” page devoted solely to your products, you can also incorporate their pictures and links in your posts, sidebar, footer, header, social media accounts, and anywhere else you can think of. It’s your product so it’s your choice. The Product Placement Police Department (PPPD) will not be breathing over your shoulder and handing out Poor Product Placement Citations (PPPCs). I freaking hate PPPCs.

Who they are best for: Any blogger at any traffic level can make and sell physical products. Even if you have a small group of people who visit your blog, you can still potentially sell your fun, valuable products. And people will love you for it. If they enjoy what you do, they’ll even spread the word for you.

In use:
Par exemple (is that even correct French?), I have a friend (I can call you my friend, right Jon?) who is ridiculous with any kind of design and handmade wonders. He recently decided to start selling some of his goods, which I’m an inappropriate amount of excited about. Right now you just have to ask him nicely in order to purchase a custom item, but he’ll likely be integrating a store or other system soon.

Jon King Design-Leather MacBook Cover

P.S. I’d really like him to move to Austin so I can have a fellow creative as obsessed with Halo and wine as I am. I’d pretty much force him to become my best friend, but don’t tell him that. We don’t want to scare him away. Oh, and remember how I told you not to click on Melissa Alam’s links because you’d develop a bit of a girl crush? Definitely do not visit Jon’s blog, his about page, or his Instagram, because you’re going to fall between 30% – 100% in love with him (really 100% though). You’ve been warned.

P.S. If you, dear friend reading this right now, are in Austin and are a fan of design and either video games or classic movies, hit me up, le STAT.


8. Membership sites/programs:

You can build a site or program that requires a monthly/yearly fee to access it. This site could have information, content, courses, etc. that only subscribers can access.

Example membership sites:

Where they go on your blog: Membership sites/programs can either be integrated into your main blog, and accessible by username + password, or they can be built on separate domains. For example Food Blogger Pro (listed above and pictured below) is the membership/class site of Pinch of Yum, the blog I talked about in 1b of this post.

Who they are best for: Bloggers with highly engaged audiences are well-suited to explore membership sites. If you build one at a lower traffic point, you run the risk of it not becoming worth its investment for a long time (or ever). You also want to have enough people join so that you can get good feedback and tweak your program as necessary to keep it high value.

In use:
Food Blogger Pro is the membership site of the bloggers behind Pinch of Yum.

Food Blogger Pro


9. Exclusive access to ___________:

As opposed to just a monthly/yearly membership site or program, you could develop exclusive products and groups that people have to pay to gain access to.

Example exclusive products/services:

  • a virtual private bootcamp (conducted by video)
  • virtual clubs that center around a specific topic
  • perhaps even content similar to your “newsletter” that you email out to paid subscribers

Where they go on your blog: You could advertise exclusive content in the same places you advertise other services.

Who they are best for: Bloggers who have a loyal audience or those who want to develop a small test group to test certain products, services, or features on.

In use:
XOSarah.com offers a blog club with exclusive access to one of her Google+ community groups where she answers questions, holds meetings at certain times, and allows bloggers to glean best practices and ideas from each other.

Make money with exclusive access products


10. Sponsored posts/reviews/endorsements:

Another popular way to make money blogging is to create sponsored posts, reviews, tweets, or endorsements for a particular brand.

Example sponsored posts:

  • you might develop a recipe using a certain brand’s ingredients
  • you could make a tutorial of a certain brand’s software
  • you could do an in-depth book review
  • you could show your readers how to complete a DIY project with a certain brand’s materials

Where they go on your blog: Well, they’re posts, so you know . . . they go in your posts. However, some sponsored posts will come with a certain number of tweets or social media mentions, so you may be spreading the word in other channels as well.

Who they are best for: No matter your traffic level or “status,” if you have a brand that wants to work with you on a sponsored post, and you feel the brand/post is a good fit, and you feel you have enough blog friends and engaged readers to interact with the post and the brand, then go for it. Jumping in and trying it is the best way to figure out whether or not it’s a good long term strategy for you.

In use:
A post such as the one below on West Elm, by designlovefest, is a great example of what a sponsored post might look like.

designlovefest sponsored post


Last tips:

>>I always like to emphasize the thought that it’s best to have multiple streams of revenue in place. I say this because things can change online in an instant. For example, every so often Google will roll out an update of how its search engine rates websites. One of Google’s recent updates, called Panda, majorly affected the ranking of many sites. So, if those sites had a monetization strategy such as pay per click advertisements (or PPC) that relies on tons of web traffic, they saw drastic declines in revenues because Google was no longer sending them all of that search traffic. Now, granted, many of the sites affected used questionable linking strategies to gain Google’s favor in the first place, so many saw Panda as a major improvement on a broken system. But still, I think you can see how putting all your eggs in one basket, could be unwise.

In general, I don’t think any blogger should majorly rely on a method that requires them to gain and keep search engine favor. The hope is that your quality content will always do well with major search engines, but diversification can help in the event of something unfavorable happening. Also, for lower traffic blogs, relying on programs that require high traffic, will obviously provide little income.

>>Lastly, make sure you comply with any and all laws/requirements/agreements that are in place with each form of advertising + affiliate relationship. Here’s a great article to start with on disclosing any advertiser relationships by Victoria of “the b bar.”


Y’all, I promise I tried to make this post short, but let’s be honest: that’s not my strong suit. There is just so much info. I wish I’d had when I first considered monetizing my blog. And I wanted it all in one place. So that’s what I tried to do here. What do you think? Do you already use some of the methods above? Considering branching out in the future? Have questions or want some ideas specific to you? Get at me in the comments below.

Photo of smiling woman: © michaeljung – Fotolia.com
Photo of woman with money tree: © Jenner – Fotolia.com

49 Responses to 10 Non-icky Ways to Make Money Blogging

  1. Maru says:

    I can’t even begin to explain how helpful this is, it can be very confusing all the options out there to make money from a blog, but this makes it very clear. Thank you, Regina! :)

    • regina says:

      Hey Maru, thank you for saying that. I was hoping to make it clear. That means a ton, coming from you, you’re such a fun blogger. Thank you for reading.

  2. Naomi says:

    Shout out to the anti-ick factor!

    I’m thinking that I’ll use a combination of affiliates (Huge yes to the awesomeness of Braid Creative) and eventually my own digital products married a bit with services.

    Great round up of this topic.

    Once again, I now have a gazoodle of tabs open just from one post of yours. Off to fall in girl like with Melissa Alam.

    • regina says:

      Ick be gone!

      Yes, that sounds like a great mix. Digital products have by far been my favorite. It’s neat to think that just one item has the potential to clear up the mystery of ____________ (whatever you do well) for so many people.

      Thanks for the comment + yes, Melissa has great stuff and such a fun, helpful social media presence to.

  3. Julie says:

    Again another amazing post! Thank you for putting all of this info in one place so that I have it as a reference as I try to monetize my efforts!

    Absolutely love your comment to the haters LOL!

    I’m excited to look into some of the links that you have shared here so that I can see how they might work with my business… One point I thought I would mention the fact that bloggers need to look into their state and city regulations as well. Unfortunately with laws changing every day there maybe times that affiliate links in particular could become unavailable to you in your place of residence. Missouri is one such state that has made tax law changes that have affected affiliate links and companies being willing to work with bloggers in our state. There are some companies that will still work with us but most of the larger ones that can be the most beneficial have pulled out until further notice. Another strong argument for what you’ve stated here of not putting your eggs all in one basket.

    Thank you again Regina for such wonderful information and such an entertaining voice to read it in!

    • regina says:

      Julie, you’re too sweet re: the entertaining voice. I appreciate that. I’m aware of the fact that my humor/style may be completely ridiculous to some, so when it does work, it feels great.

      Thank you for that insightful comment. I hope you won’t mind that I go back and add something to that effect in a later revision. Shout outs to you for that, of course.

      I very much appreciate that you took the time to read through this. Thank you!

  4. Sadie says:

    Yes Regina, bravo on a not-icky blog post and great job summarizing all the ways to monazite your blog the right way! I love you included Melissa Alam – agree she’s super inspiring in the world of entrepreneurship! Really appreciate you revealing the curtain and giving others ideas and ways to turn their website into a business. The B Bar is another great resource as well. Love your writing style, witty, humorous and fun and tons of examples.

    • regina says:

      Sadie, thank you. And yes, I’m so glad the Interwebs led me to Melissa Alam. Love reading her stuff.

      I very much appreciate your compliment too, because I always wonder if I’m the only one who laughs at my nerd quirks.

  5. Woot woot! Another great post girl. Thank you for putting all these options in one easy-to-find place. You ROCK!

    • regina says:

      I appreciate that Debi. Thank you so much. Is your website new? I feel like it looks way different, but I am inclined to crazy thoughts. Either way, it looks excellent, and I love the pronunciation guide on your last name–> I wouldn’t have guessed that.

  6. Topher says:

    I have spent the last several weeks droning over ways to create revenue streams for a passion project I have been working on (ways to sustain and maintain it. I am so glad i came across this and will be sharing in the team meeting tonight. Thank you so much for constantly striving to educate and motivate small business owners like myself. :)

    • regina says:

      Awe Topher, too sweet. Thank you. I hope the guide helps and I’m glad you’re so motivated to maintain your passion project. Good luck. Please feel free to send me any questions/concepts if you want another sounding board.

  7. Jon King says:

    You most definitely can call me friend! I would be honored friend :) I may just have to make a trip to Austin this year too.

    • regina says:

      Please do. I hope you like tacos + rock climbing (in the safety of a gym) + coffee + live music + eating from food trucks + dessert + lake swimming + canoeing, because these will all be on my list of things you should do while here. Feel free to bring equally adventurous companions with you.

  8. Kimberly says:

    hey, AWESOME post btw! Love the way you write your posts! But I was wondering how much does some of the pay for clicks and other links slow the reader down? I’ve noticed on some sites I go to it takes FOREVER to get anywhere because of all of the ads and its such a turn off that I literally turn them off and go to another site. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
    happy blogging :)

    • regina says:

      Hey Kimberly, thanks for stopping by. Just checked out your website and was happy to find great juicing recipes. I want to try “Beet me to the beach!” Sounds delicious. Juicing is my “new thing” that I’m loving right now.

      Thank you for the sweet writing compliment. Trying to learn the art of brevity. Not working so far.

      As to your comment on ads and site speed:

      To some degree, most ad programs are doing much more than just displaying advertisements for a blogger to make income from. They slow down the site because there is more (code) to load when someone lands on the page, and during use, those ad programs are also typically tracking visitors + of course ad performance. Some of it is necessary (as in: they need to know when people click on the ads) and some of it seems to be more for their own information and how to improve their service, which makes sense from a business standpoint.

      However, it affects both bloggers and readers, and can be a huge turn off, as you said. I typically leave sites that load slow unless I think that site has the magic formula to world peace >>> then I’ll wait.

      As bloggers, people can try to optimize their site speed in a few ways, and I’ll list the simplest ones:

      >>Get a really good web hosting plan. I’m on a WordPress platform, so I switched to a managed WP hosting plan that does a lot of speed stuff for me, in the background.

      >>Read through the help files of your ad program for tips on making everything load faster. Sometimes the addition or removal of a plugin or some code can be a quick fix. I know Google AdSense, for example, has help files of this nature.

      >>Clean up your site of any unnecessary plugins or code. This may require a web consultant.

      >>Compress and scale all your images to a web-optimized resolution and to the exact size you want them to appear on the page (as in don’t upload a 3000px wide photo to display at 200px, just upload a 200px wide photo)

      >>On a more technical note, a CDN (content delivery network) may be an option within your hosting plan. It basically chooses the closest, fastest server to deliver content to your website visitors based on location and other factors. I always forget the the Interwebs really is an inter-connected web of information and files, so most of that info. still needs to be “sent” each time it’s received by a reader and their browser.

      >>And if you’d like a more techie article on this–Moz.com “15 Tips to Speed Up Your Website”

      To be honest, this is one of the many reasons I don’t currently monetize with ad networks. I’m not sure it will ever fit for my site, but I do like to research it. Anyhow, I hope that answers your question and makes sense, but please feel free to tell me I actually just sounded crazy and made no sense. I do that sometimes. Thank you again for the comment!

  9. emma says:

    This was such a helpful post Regina! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • regina says:

      I appreciate that Emma. Thank you. I’m sitting here staring at my very blank walls remembering all your pretty gallery wall pictures. I think I may opt for something halfway between those options and my current status. Annnyways.

      Thanks for your comment.

  10. Patti says:

    So, I pinned and +1′d this bad boy….then…added your site to my feedly. Apparently I’m your new bloggy stalker (in the best kinda way)! So much great info. Thanks!

    • regina says:

      Patti, oh my goodness on those meatloaf pictures on your blog. I’m about to make the next best thing available to me in my kitchen right now–bacon breakfast tacos (it’s Austin, don’t judge me).

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing the post. I appreciate your time doing that.

  11. Found you on g+, a platform, I’ve only recently become part of.
    I started blogging last fall and at this point I am trying to build my stats, although not exactly certain what they should be prior to doing any monetizing. I Pinned, shared and e-mailed this post for future use.
    Thank you for the considerable time and effort obviously utilized to create such an informative post.

    Take care,
    Dana

    • regina says:

      Dana, thank you for stopping by. Chocolate and sunshine are two of my favorite things. Headed to check out your blog now.

      I think that choosing a monetization method that’s comfortable for your readers and for you means you can really start at any point. For example, if you’re just naturally recommending products on Amazon.com or from Target, small links and images won’t overwhelm most people. Then you can add in more specific affiliate programs and perhaps two sidebar or footer ads. Then a while after that you might be selling your first products, etc.

      If you introduce things in layers and see how you like managing them, as well as how people react to them, I think you’ll get a clear picture of how this can work for you.

      A lot of people recommend that if you plan to monetize with ads, you should build out that space in your sidebar now. I’m not really one way or another on this advice yet, but perhaps if you do that, you could simply link to other relevant content within your own blog for now, instead of buttons that say “Advertise here,” or the equivalent. Just some thoughts for you.

      Thanks so much for your comment Dana.

  12. KC Saling says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post! Monetizing is a constant struggle. No one wants to write content that sounds like a paid advertisement space in a magazine that people will just skip over. It’s nice to see some not-icky sponsored post advice. I hate seeing blogs all of a sudden pop up with the sponsored post disclaimer and have a paid advertisement show up gushing over some product I’m pretty sure they’d never use, and have been really leery of monetizing just because I don’t want to go that route. Now I have some lovely non-icky options! :D

    • regina says:

      KC, I know what you mean. I always feel it’s so funny when I’m on (for example) a freelance writer’s site and then all of the sudden they’re posting about some kooky kitchen product in a post paid for by XYZ Kitchen Utensils. It can take away from a blogger’s genuine reputation that they’ve built up.

      It made me leery too, but judging from your blog’s tone + consistency + interesting life topics, you wouldn’t look out of place to do a sponsored post, and certainly not one of the more unique ones.

      Thank you for visiting again and commenting. The blog support means so much!

  13. lol @ the brush your teeth line. Made me actually laugh out loud. This is such a great, informative post. Thank you!

    • regina says:

      Haha. I’m glad. Their breath probably does stink. Thank you for stopping by again Claire. I always enjoy your comments.

  14. Hi Regina,

    All awesome methods! I’m big on selling my services, ebooks and gifting. All rock, as do your shares. Go heavy on value creation, make a ton of friends and work on your mental game. Trust in the Universe, see good wherever you look and you’ll make money blogging.

    Thanks!

    • regina says:

      Ryan, thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll have to check out your site for “gifting” info.

      I agree with you on creating value and making friends, first, and you’re so right –> one’s mental game needs to always be improving.

      I appreciate your share on Twitter and your comment here.

  15. […] Regina – check out posts on how to get serious about blogging, 10 non-icky ways to make money blogging, business tasks for blogging, how to not look like an amateur blogger in 12 easy […]

  16. The Fox says:

    This was very informative. I thought it was broken up nicely and very user friendly!!! Thanks for all the info!!!

    • regina says:

      Can we all just first acknowledge how cool a name “The Fox” is? Love that. Thank you for taking some time to read and give me some encouraging feedback. I appreciate that.

      • The Fox says:

        Thank you!! I wish I was as cool as the name but alas. I am however a big believer of ‘fake it till you make it’ so one of these days….anyways keep up the good work!

  17. […] bloggers like to make money (here’s how you can make money blogging, here are reports on what I make and how I grow my traffic). And they should. It takes a long time […]

  18. Regina says:

    Regina can I such say that you are absolutely brilliant! :)Thank you for breaking this topic down so clearly for the newbies like me. In the beginning trying to create quality content, find your audience and figure out how to monetize can be a daunting task to say the least. This post covers all of the bases with clear explanations and examples to boot. I was also surprised to see that we follow a lot of the same blogs, how sweet is that?! I will certainly be back to visit your blog and will be sure to pin this post pronto.

    • regina says:

      Regina, shall we call you Regina1 for clarity’s sake? Ha. Thank you for your wonderful compliment. I appreciate that you’ve taken time to read and to comment with such great support.

      It’s funny that we follow a lot of the same blogs and only recently discovered each other. I’m glad we did though. I love checking out your photos on Instagram . . . as I’m sure you can tell since I’m always “liking” your stuff. Thank you for the pin Regina. And I agree, there is so much to do at first, especially if you’re devoted to creating the quality content that you do.

      Thanks again Regina1.

  19. Debra says:

    Regina, I found your site through Pinterest and had to drop you a line to let you know just how very helpful I am finding your “how to” blogging posts.

    As someone who is in the beginning stages of creating a blog, the amount of information out there about blog development is daunting. I appreciate your clear and straight forward manner and value your informative content. Thank you for that!

  20. […] much whatever other blogging topics you can think of. I think my favorite posts would be either be 10 Non-Icky Ways to Make Money Blogging, 12 Essential Steps to Starting Your Freelance Business, or 33 Things to Do When You’re Ready […]

  21. megan says:

    love this post! (actually i love ALL of your posts. this site was mega-helpful starting my blog!) id love to know what you think of reward style and where that fits in, it seems a lot of top bloggers use this. thanks!

  22. Michelle Miller says:

    OMGosh I am so excited I found your site. I am a newbie and I love you. (In a totally appropriate way.) I am in awe of the free advice you offer. Thank you! Maybe as my budget grows I can hire you. And, when I get some content up I will link my site.. for now I need to edit some more before I throw it out there.

  23. Hi Regina!

    I am amazed at ALL of your posts!!!! I’ve been reading them all week :) You are beyond creative and extremely helpful, this post is beneficial for so many and especially for me at this moment! My blog is about 2 months old so I am happy to have found your site during my beginning stages. You are now my go-to for all things blog related! Keep up the fabulous work!

  24. I’m working on improving my blog and all of your posts are so helpful. Thank you!

  25. […] much whatever other blogging topics you can think of. I think my favorite posts would be either be 10 Non-Icky Ways to Make Money Blogging, 12 Essential Steps to Starting Your Freelance Business, or 33 Things to Do When You’re Ready […]

  26. Mariella says:

    You are fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing all those great tips. I’m working on this right now and this is super helpful. You rock! xx.

    p.s: I love your grammar and writing style ;)

  27. Simply put, I might just have developed a girl crush on you :-) EXCELLENT writing (I love you added sense of humor) and great article. Thanks for all your hard work!

  28. Mary says:

    You ask “By the by, who IS Charlie, and why are we always apologizing to him?”
    That’d be Charlie Tuna…Google Charlie Tuna commercials

  29. John Green says:

    I love these lists! So much good info for bloggers of all levels. I’m currently in the content development stage so these tips will definitely help me in the future.

  30. THANK YOU FOR THIS. Finally, a SUPER helpful guide to basically everything we could ever want to know about monetizing this crazy world. You’re the bee’s knees.

    lovelovelove,
    Erica
    cominguprosestheblog.com

  31. […] Debating the old “monetizing” question – and reading Regina’s “non-icky” ways to make money blogging. […]

Join the conversation