Published On: Sat, Jul 9th, 2016

How to Blog and Make Money without Going Crazy

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How-to-Blog-and-Make-Money-without-Going-CrazyThere are really no big secrets around how to blog and make money online. However, there are some strategies to make it a profitable venture. Essentially, the secret is having a well-defined and executed blog monetization strategy.

Starting a blog is not a get-rich-quick scheme by any means but it’s worth exploring if you want to add a stream of income to your bottom line.

When I started blogging, I thought it would be a neat way to express my feelings around certain financial topics and maybe tell people a little about what I did for the day. How cute!

The only problem is that this is an approach that is extremely difficult to monetize. One of my biggest mistakes starting out was using my blog solely as a means for editorial musings and opinions. After a while, I realized the potential in blogging and decided to focus on a monetization strategy.

Now, I’m sharing with you all the ways you can actually monetize your online presence. There are so many ways to make money online that ultimately you’ll have to settle on what’s best for your personality, lifestyle and business type. When you are creating your monetization strategy pick 1 or 2 of these at most and execute with diligence!

Affiliate Sales

Let’s say you use a product that you really like. You tell other people about it and they purchase the product. In the world online marketing, you could sign up to be an affiliate partner (you would get a special link for your audience to use for a purchase) and get a commission from the sales you refer. I know many bloggers who make a large part of their income from affiliate sales. You can promote anything it that has an affiliate program! (If there is no affiliate program, ask and they could create one for you!) The most ethical approach would only be to promote products you like (and ideally have used) to your audience regardless of commission payout.

Related Resource: Affiliate Marketing- Make Passive Income Online

Product Sales

You can sell products that you’ve created or ones that someone else has created. For example, there are many people who source products from places like China and resell them on platforms like eBay, Amazon FBA or on their own website. If you make your own products is a great marketplace for crafters as well.

Related Resources Amazon Seller Central- Make the Most of Amazon FBA


Have you ever visited a website and noticed the ads planted around the page? Usually the ads are smart enough to know about what you are interested in. Your browsing history is collected by the internet (via cookies) to help serve up ads by an ad network. The website hosting these ads makes money whether anyone click these ads or makes a purchase or not (although there can be additional “bounties” given if users click and make purchases.)

Simply put, If your website (or YouTube channel) has eyeballs, ad networks are interested. Google Adsense is an example of an ad network. This is the ad network that most people start with because there are no minimum page views required. Just know that there are some online entrepreneurs that make money solely on ads. They might have content that is interesting enough to attract millions of viewers each month. If you are working with a few different ad networks, that can mean thousands of dollars each month!

Alternatively, you could negotiate with a company to take up space on your website on your own. Many website owners prefer this method because they have more control over the content of the ads displayed (rather than a random hodgepodge chosen by the ad network) and can get better pay-outs than an ad network would offer.

Related Resource: Google Adsense Success Strategies


If you can show a potential sponsor that you’ve got an audience that will take heed to your recommendations, then you could also make money producing sponsored content. Brands will pay you a premium to publish content related to their products. Sponsorship income can be applied to many types of media: blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels and even Instagram feeds. If you’ve got an audience, there is someone who will pay you to mention or promote their product. As always, the ethical approach is to work with brands you would use yourself and recommend to a friend (even without payment.)

Related Resource: Brand Sponsorship: Step by Step Guide to Securing Sponsors


In the previous chapter, we also saw that there were a few bloggers who were also freelance writers. Many times, the blog serves as a display for their capabilities and the neat little “hire me” page is good way attract more clients. Think about a personal trainer who provides tons of value on their website with blog posts, videos and eBooks. When someone is looking for personal trainer they trust, they’ll likely choose the one who has added value through an active, informational web presence.

The nice thing about this approach is that it can be a way to bring in money quickly in order to finance more passive income pursuits. As with the case of someone like Gina Horkey, she used her freelance income to capitalize her eCourse business. Now, much of her income is passive through her course sales.

Related Resource: Seth Godin’s Freelancer Course

Niche Sites

A niche site is like a blog, but with a super-specific focus. The idea of a niche website is that the creator may or may not have a very deep interest or passion about a particular subject. Rather, they did some research into search engine terms to find untapped markets. For example, you can do some key word research to find search terms that are gaining traction but have very few websites that exists to effectively catch and monetize that search engine traffic. If the pre-launch research is done wisely, it can be a profitable stream of income. There are some niche site owners that make enough money from their sites to hire writers to crank out tons of content and buy ads to drive massive traffic. New niches (hover boards anyone?) are being created each day. If you can be first to the party, there’s lots of potential in being able to rank highly for profitable terms.

Related Resource: How to Build Auto-pilot Websites

If you need to start a blog, you can do so for as little as $3.95 per month with Use this link to get that price on web-hosting. If you are not sure how to start a blog, check out my free tutorial on how to start a blog here.

Enter your information below to get your blogging tutorial and checklist to get going. It’s all free!


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Aja McClanahan

Aja “A.J.” McClanahan is a writer, speaker and entrepreneur.

Source: Principles of Increase

Aja McClanahan

Certified Developer, Writer & Udemy Instructor at Principles of Increase
CRM and database administration for sales & marketing organizations or departments. My clients have included mainly small businesses and non profit organizations.

Specialties: technology & sales consulting, CRM deployment,, content management, brand development, general sales & marketing, social media and interactive marketing.

Latest posts by Aja McClanahan (see all)

About the Author

- CRM and database administration for sales & marketing organizations or departments. My clients have included mainly small businesses and non profit organizations. Specialties: technology & sales consulting, CRM deployment,, content management, brand development, general sales & marketing, social media and interactive marketing.

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Did you know?

African Americans are significantly more likely to have some type of debt (94%) compared with the general population (82%). Credit card debt, student loan debt, and personal loans are all significantly higher in the African American community.

Source: Prudential’s 2013 "African American Financial Experience" study