My very first blog post was in 2011, so I’ve been at this for a little bit. I’m going to share with you what has consistently brought me blogging income over the years. If you’re hoping to make a real income with a blog, I’m hoping this saves you time and effort in figuring out what to focus on.
My 3 Consistent Sources of Blogging Income
There are several ways bloggers make an income with their blogs and the ones I list below are the three I focus on because they have consistently provided an income.
If you study blogs of the most popular bloggers out there you’ll quickly see what their focus is. Once you have identified what their focus is, you’ll understand how they’re making a living from their blog. I recommend studying the blogs that are successful in your area of interest and doing something similar, but with your own uniqueness (don’t steal from other bloggers though, that will surely be your downfall). Here is what has CONSISTENTLY provided an income from my blog.
#1 ~Tangible Products
The most consistent source of income from my blog comes from my own tangible products. I build wooden keepsake boxes and chests, sell them on Etsy, and showcase my shop on my blog. The readers from my blog are in the same niche market as my Etsy shop. My worst months have been around $1000 and the best months (usually around the holidays) are about $5000.
If you’re looking to make more than I do consistently, I know of many people doing more than $5k a month, but they usually have a team of people or they work crazy hours, and they have scaled their business accordingly. I am still a one-person shop, I work mostly part-time hours (because when my kids are home, I want to be with them), thankfully my husband’s job affords us to be flexible, and I also like to keep my business as simple as possible.
There are a lot of options for selling a tangible product besides Etsy. You don’t even have to make the product yourself. The t-shirt business is a popular one right now! Boutique-style e-commerce shops are doing great too, that’s why you see so many celebrities jumping on the bandwagon of having their own clothing, jewelry, shoe, etc. lines. You just have to make sure your blog subject brings in the same readers that would be interested your tangible product.
#2 ~Digital Products
I LOOOOOOOOVE digital products! They are so useful to your readers, they save them time, and a quick digital download fulfill’s that instant gratification tendency that is so common in our digital era. Plus, digital products are a great way to make passive income. You create it one time, and get paid for it over and over again!
I’ve been creating digital products for a couple of years now. I’m slowly gaining momentum but that’s because it hasn’t been my main focus. I mostly offer FREE digital downloads to build my email list. My email list has been a great way to engage with my readers and offer them specials and keep them up-to-date with new products (tangible and digital). Most of my digital product sales have come from an email campaign I sent out. I still have some sales directly from my blog too. My worst months for digital sales are under $100. My best month for digital sales were about $300. I do consistently get sales every month, and I see more potential for growth as I focus more on developing and marketing my digital products.
I know of some popular bloggers who make the bulk of their income ($10k+ per month) from ebooks, curriculums, sewing patterns, exercise and eating schedules, building plans, craft instructions, etc. The digital product list goes on and on. It’s their main focus for sure, and they market the heck out of their digital items. They have grown their blog traffic and email lists to the tens of thousands and usually have a hefty amount of social media followers. All of which they have spent a lot of time cultivating.
We live in the digital era! If you offer digital products related to your blog topic it will likely bring in consistent sales if you have consistent blog traffic. You don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors to your blog either. Just engaged readers. Quality over quantity. Always. Engagement always wins over volume.
#3 ~Affiliate Programs
A lot of people are on the fence about affiliate programs. The ‘ick factor’ of being salesy or being too focused on pushing product in your blog writing. Plus it’s very saturated. I agree with most of that, BUT I also think if you link to an affiliate product to give your reader additional information about what you are already writing about, it ends up making your content richer by saving your reader time searching for the things you’re mentioning in your post. It’s like your mom giving you a recipe AND then showing up at your house with all the ingredients for it!
Even though I get consistent affiliate sales on a monthly basis, it is my smallest and most variable form of income for now. My worst months for affiliate income are under $50 and my best months are around $100. But, I know of many bloggers who make the bulk of their income from affiliate programs! I’m talking thousands of dollars per month! These bloggers focus mainly on product reviews and gift guides.
I do suggest looking at affiliate marketing as being more like a supplemental income. I wouldn’t suggest solely depending on it every month because it is highly variable. You may have amazing months the affiliate drops or revises their program and POOF there goes your income!
Overall, the products I make for my Etsy shop and the digital products I sell have been the most consistent and quickest form of income that is derived from my blog traffic. I started seeing sales from these the same month I started featuring them on my blog. I prefer my own tangible and digital products being my main source of income because I have the most control over them.
Although affiliate marketing has still been a consistent source of income for me and I do see huge potential for growth in this area, I will never depend on it.
I also want to remind you that I do only work part-time hours. If you want to make more than I do, I’m sure if you put in full-time effort you will have even greater success than me!