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 McScammerton 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.

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 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: 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.”

Psst, if you’re srrsly interested in making money online, my one signature online school is open now (and at a special price)!

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 –
Photo of woman with money tree: © Jenner –

  1. 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! 🙂

    1. 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.

      1. Hi Regina, thanks for the tips I never thought to use a number of those Jobs, they are certainly a lot less icky than what i’m doing currently . I find that the best way for me is to complete surveys. I have been doing this for about a year now for about an hour each day and i’m making about $350-$500 each month, which isn’t bad considering it’s just meant to be some additional income. I find that this site works the best for those of you that are interested

  2. 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.

    1. 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. 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!

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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. 🙂

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 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?

    happy blogging 🙂

    1. 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– “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!

    1. 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.

  7. 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!

    1. 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.

  8. 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,

    1. 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 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.

  9. 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! 😀

    1. 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!

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

  10. 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.


    1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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 😉

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. What a great post is that! It was really an eye opener for new blogger-to-be like me. I will definitely keep it as a reference guide.


  20. Wow, so informative!! Great information 🙂

    BTW: origin of ‘sorry Charlie’…I believe old Starkist tuna TV commercial–Charlie was the talking tuna who never could get the tuna can, announcer always ended the commercial with ‘sorry Charlie’..:) Tidbit for the day..

  21. Wow. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I never started blogging to earn money, but that is always something that would be nice. I have tried to start different processes, but never felt comfortable following through, even with those businesses that reached out to me. This is amazing. Long doesn’t matter, because your content is remarkable! 🙂

  22. This is a great breakdown. I wish I had had this when I first started. I’ve managed to figure it out on my own, but it took a long time. Thanks for the information and links.

  23. Hi Regina, I have read your entire post. It is a helpful article for blogger. I came to learn good ways and means to make money online.

    First I thought making money online is untrusted ones. But with your post I changed my feelings about it. I will revisit your blog for more tips. Thanks for your valuable tips shared here.

  24. I cannot even begin to explain how amazing this post is! I am a new blogger and it’s so easy to get lost in all of the jargon that some posts include. Thank you for getting straight to the point and offering resources that make it so you don’t have to ‘sell your soul’ for a profit! This was extremely well written & I am bookmarking it for future use!

  25. Thank you so much….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. keep it up….

  26. Thanks Regina! You just transformed my new year’s resolution from erroneous concepts to rock solid reality! Your post is going to be my cheat sheet for turning my blog into a money minting machine ! YOU ROCK!!

  27. I’d like to know more about sponsored posts. What sort of leg work does that sort of thing require on the front end? Is it necessary to choose a product, contact the company’s marketing department, and complete a contract? Or is it more along the lines of doing the post and hoping the company notices?

  28. I found a way to make money that I turn around and invest in my blog designing process, as trying to keep everything “free” shows to the viewer and it cheapens your credibility tenfold.. This is the easiest money I’ve ever made in my life and I’m sure it will be the easiest money you’ve ever made too. Check it out here: An automatic $25 just for signing up. Let’s make 2015 the best and most profitable year in business yet.

  29. Charlie was a tuna on commercials in the 60’s/70’s. He was confused, and thought people wanted tuna that had good taste. The announcer would say “sorry Charlie, people want tuna that tastes good.”

  30. Regina- thanks for sharing these great tips! I launched a lifestyle blog on January 1 and learning how to make money down the road can be pretty daunting. This post is a great resource and I look forward to putting your tips to use.

  31. Hi there Regina!

    I discovered you and your blog a couple days ago and I already am in love with you! Thank you so much for all the useful information!

    Your posts are big, but very easy to read, so no worries!

    I still have to catch up with some old posts, but I’ve already aded you to my Feedly!

    See you around!

  32. Thank you for this one! I’ve always wanted to monetize my blog been never knew how until recently – thanks to Pinterest. However, the ick factor & slow loading speeds has always turned me off to doing the traditional ads (I have a small banner by Google AdSense). I’m currently trying my hand at Amazon Affiliates because I like that I can just link it through text (and no icky “photo ad” box in my posts or sidebar) within my posts. I look forward to diversifying via your suggestions. 🙂

  33. Hi Regina! I just started blogging a little over a week ago and don’t plan to use it to make money just yet, but I think it will be a great option in the future. I subscribed to you a few days ago and just I adore your writing style! It’s just so fun and upbeat. But most of all, it’s real. I have a question for you. I currently have a free wordpress blog, will I have to upgrade to make any money? I’m a college student with a lot of medical bills and don’t want to pay $99 a year right now. I look forward to read more of your posts!

  34. Honestly… I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon your site. But you have become my “go to” in regards to the world of creative business creation!!! Thanks for existing and great job, keep up the excellent work…

  35. Hi Regina,
    First I would like to thank you for all of the valuable information you share so freely. I am wondering though, for someone who is pretty new to all of this. I have had a blog on Blogger for a few years, but they did some changes, I ended up making a 2nd blog by mistake (not exactly computer literate), and lost my monetization, since it was all on the first blog…not that I ever made a dime anyways. So, I just switched to WordPress, but I don’t know if that is the right fit either? My blogging has mainly been about being on the wrong end of the scalpel with bariatric surgery…I’m now disabled thanks to many surgeries later and too much damage that can’t be repaired. Recently my daughter opened an Etsy store and I have been helping her with running it, making items when I am up to it and we are trying to earn money this way. I am advertising her store on my blog now, plus I am sharing some of my content with another WordPress site (not sure if I can give names) that is a group of people with physical challenges that do all different kind of art to help make it through their days with chronic pain, etc..just like me. Do you have any advice as to which is better..blogger, wordpress, or is there another I don’t know about?

  36. This is the post that brought me to your blog from google. I keep having to remind myself that was just four days ago because after all the work I’ve done in that short time it feels like it’s been weeks.

    For years I’ve been doing a lot, A LOT of digging and I’m not sure I’ve EVER encountered a more helpful blog. On anything. Ever. And the amazing thing is that I knew that immediately, maybe just after a few sentences of reading this very post.

    I’m not a newbie blogger. I wrote my first blog back in 2012-2013 and for a whole year I posted atleast once a week and worked on lesson plans for readers. I was passionate and diligent and had a posting schedule. I stopped blogging there because I realized I wanted to broaden my topic/I felt like I was limiting myself. Deleting that blog and all of the hard work I put into it was painful and I distanced myself from blogging and the idea of starting a new one, (even though new subjects to explore came to mind all of the time).

    Now, I’m so glad I did it- I learned alot.

    These past few years I’ve been developing a career as an artist. I’ve known that I wanted to return to blogging and turn it into a career but didn’t want to seem wishy washy to others in my life. ALSO, the general idea to most I know is that either 1) you can’t make money blogging and/or 2) you can but it will take you atleast 3-5 years.

    SO, to conclude this long essay I’d like to tell you that you’ve sparked this within me- I knew that I wanted to return but something just wasn’t there to motivate it.

    You’ve put a new colour on it, the entire blogging game.

    It’s like a total revolution the way you involve your readers and go above and beyond with provided resources.

    Seriously, thank you for existing and putting your life blood into your work and THANK YOU to the universe for bringing me to your site.
    Now it’s back to work for me 😀

  37. Hey would you mind letting me know which web host you’re utilizing?
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  38. An Amazing article! Thank You for ALL the information you provided! I am a new blogger with a lot of questions and I found a lot of answers in your post! Thank You again!

  39. I just found out about your blog through my friend Elizabeth Bradley from InfoBoMo. And I’m so glad that I did! I’ve read through a few of your posts already and your work is fantastic and super helpful.

    P.S. Seriously love the Ella and Louis reference. Double points! 😉

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  44. Absolutely wonderful post thank you for clearing the confusion to people like me who are thinking of joining the blog world without feeling .. icky !

  45. Aaarrgghh! Such an amazing post! so much good info that all makes sense! so much to learn and put into place! Thank you Regina, this is exactly what a new person like me needs 🙂

  46. This is so incredibly helpful, thank you for putting it together! I am a pretty new blogger and wrapping my head around everything can be a bit of a headache. This post is fantastic and I am sure I will come back to it again!

  47. Thanks for laying it all out there!

    There is definitely an “ick” factor associated with blogging for profit! I think it’s actually similar to the notion of an artist “selling out” by selling his or her art. But you know what? When we create, we create FOR someone. That’s at the heart of sharing art, regardless of the money made or not made by doing so. It might be postmodern of me to say so, but if my goal of eventually blogging for profit is selling out, I guess I don’t care 😉 Because I would LOVE for something that I love doing to support me in some way!

    again, nice post.

  48. Regina – Great article! Thanks for breaking it down so clearly. By the way, Charlie is a Tuna from a big ad campaign in the 70’s for Starkist Tuna that had the phrase “Sorry Charlie!” It became a very well-known saying. See! The power of advertising.

  49. I just want to share this Benefit to those who may be interested!!! Will i call it Leverage ??? But however you may see it i call it a Gift from an Anonymous friend whom i see as a philanthropist, i want you to contact him and follow his instructions politely. I am Mrs. Joan Hubbel from Cedar Rapids, Iowa United State. I want t give you a little tip/ share with you how i came across Jason D Berkholtz a German Hacker who helped me with a blank ATM card and i remain grateful to him. I am a Divorced Mother of 3 kids and my husband is an Alcoholic, he lost his job due to the bad habit, I work from home and I had to search for jobs but no good pay enough to cater for my Household, On searching the internet i read a blog of Mr. Jason D Berkholtz. I never believed all what i met on his blog, but i realized that giving a try would not also hurt. I had no option than to give the Hacker an opportunity by contacting his email on {}. I emailed him and i got a reply requesting for my details, but i was skeptical of giving them my information but they assured me that my information was saved with them and i did forward all what they requested and i was told that i will have to choose between Visa Card or master card and pay the sum of $150 for the regeneration and Modification of the card and once the ATM Card is ready that i will be notified. It took 3 working days and my card was ready for Pick up, The ATM card was sent to me through Courier delivery Service, With the help of this Great hacker I have been able to setup my own Business. If you need an ATM card contact Jason D Berkholtz via email: {}

  50. After years of playing with blogging, I’ve finally decided to get serious about it – your site has to be one of the best ‘how to sites’ I’ve found and this particular piece rocks. Easy to understand – or would be if the cat would get out of the way so I could read the screen easily – and even easier to implement. Thanks 🙂

  51. WOW… what a great post!}
    highly recommended.. i read other blog about this topics but you get five star i think so …. thanks for such a great informative post… please keep it up… now i will try to visit your site daily.. 🙂

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  53. Spot on! Such great information, as always. Thank you, Regina. I can’t wait to redesign my website because one of the things that I lack is advertisement SPACE! September couldn’t come sooner. HI, to my Austin peeps! XO

  54. I notice myself get pretty overwhelmed with all of this information now that I’m just getting started blogging at a serious/professional level. A lot of my pinterest links seem to bring to your site though and I appreciate the things you have written. I’m looking forward to perusing your site.

  55. wow… thanks a lot… great information and list..
    i knew some of this but not all… please keep it up and always try to give us such great post… Now i always try to touch with this site. happy posting

  56. Great post! And those are some awesome people you’re crushing on. I’m always curious who my biz-crushes crush on!

    Also, I don’t live in Austin, but I am Texas + gamer girl + moscato drinker + classic movie watcher (Roman Holiday anyone?).

  57. Hello!

    Few days back i had just started blogging and i was confused how will I monetize my blog and manage hosting cost. Finally i go to Google and searched for it and i got your site.

    You have shared very helpful article for newbie bloggers which will help me to make money online. I will surely try your strategies to monetize my blog.

    Thanks for sharing very helpful article!

  58. Hi Regina,

    I do love how you put everything in one place. It’s super helpful! I’m in the process of monetizing my own blog, but can’t afford to be self-hosted on WordPress yet. I do have an actual website as well and use that in supplement to my blog. I have launched a free product based on your advice from one of your posts, I can’t remember what it was called but was the first one I found of yours. So far it has gone well and people like it. I ended up relaunching it yesterday after editing it to make it better but had some link issues with it so I don’t know how many people were actually able to download it. Anyway, I am working on launching a paid e-course now and have loved ALL of your tips.

    Thanks for all your posts! I hope to be able to afford some of your paid services soon, but am so thankful for all these free tips and posts to read as well as the workbooks and all of that!


  59. Regina, you sre my queen of the day! This article is sooo helpful and I really love the way you write, you make me laugh and I learn new stuff, can’t get any better! 😉

  60. Regina. Seriously. This is what I’ve been looking for for months!!! Turns out, it’s a LOT harder to find clear information about blogging on the interweb. All I’ve been able to find is either way over my head/too advanced, or the most obvious stuff that even a monkey could figure out (i.e. blogs run by sleaze-balls who don’t have real content and just want to draw traffic with promising post titles.)

    I’m still overwhelmed. But that’s normal. Because I’m at the beginning. But thank you SO much for sharing this. Whew! I’m going to have to take a few deep breaths and come back to this later, for multiple re-reads.

  61. Many people are dreaming about making money online. But in my opinion most of them are simply looking for shortcuts to a better life. There’s nothing wrong about making things happen in a quickest way possible (as long as those efforts are harmless). Unfortunately people are often missing real reason’s behind their actions.

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  62. Thank you Regina! What a complete guide to making money the non icky way!

    The first money I made blogging was through an affiliate I recommended to my family. And at no extra cost to them I made $120 that day! AMAZING!

    It felt so sweet helping them get something they love and getting it all set up for them, and getting rewarded for my efforts.

    We all went out to dinner afterwards to celebrate. 🙂

  63. Regina,
    Thank you for such a clear, concise post! I’ve had my blog up since 2012, but didn’t know what to do next to monetize it. I purchased a couple books and waded through mountains of info online that just confused me even more. Your post is the first that gave me clear next steps to implement. Thank you, thank you!

  64. Hi Regina,

    Thank you so much for your ideas! I was wondering though, do you recommend a ‘time frame’ to start any of these, or just jump right in our your first day? Any help would be appreciated!! Thank you!!

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