How to monetize a blog in 2021

How to monetize a blog

Making money from your blog should not just be seen as a way to earn passive income. Some bloggers make a very good living from their blogs. And there is absolutely no reason why you can’t do the same. So, in this article, we are are going to show you how to monetize a blog:

Popular ways to monetize a blog

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is often the first route people use to earn money blogging. The concept is simple and suitable for those taking their first steps in blog monetization. You sign up to an affiliate program, write great articles and add links back to the merchant. Merchants give you promotional text, url’s and banner adverts to add to your site. You then get a percentage of any click throughs that lead to sales.

Affiliate programs are easy to sign up to. You basically fill up a form, wait to be accepted on the program then receive promotional links and images that you can add to your site. Each of these will have your unique affiliate id that will record clicks. One of the more popular marketplaces to find affiliate programs is ShareASale. You can find merchants from pretty much any niche on here, ranging from small businesses to large global organisations.

You can also find out about popular affiliate programs by going to the company website directly. Some of the biggest ones include Amazon and eBay. It may take some time to earn money from affiliate marketing initially, but it will grow as your websites traffic grows.

Amazon affiliate program how to monetize a blog


Another straightforward way to make money from your blog is by adding adverts. Most bloggers do this by signing up to a program like Google Adsense. It’s free to sign up and after you have given them your details including your niche, you are given a piece of code to add to your website’s code. This can be added wherever you think it is most likely to be clicked by your visitors. Going by your niche and visitor stats, Google then generates relevant adverts that appear where you have placed your Adsense code. You are then paid a certain amount every time the advert is clicked on.

Although Adsense is the most popular way to earn a few dollars through advertising, there are other options available. One is BuySellAds. Again, it is just a case of signing up and being accepted into the program. You can then search for companies relevant to your topic, add their banner to your blog, then receive payment based on the company’s program.

Sponsored Articles

A sponsored article is where a company pays you money to write an article on your blog, promoting their products or services. Although this is similar to advertising, it is important that your content doesn’t push a product too hard. Instead, links to the products should be placed naturally in a piece of content that is helpful and interesting to your readers.

There are a couple of important points you will have to consider before offering sponsored posts. Firstly, your website will have to be established and have a considerable amount of traffic. Otherwise, businesses won’t be clamouring to you for a post. This has to benefit the business you are promoting. Secondly, your article has to be sincere. Your readers deserve an honest review of the product or service you are writing about. This should be made clear to the business you are promoting before you agree to the article.

Sell digital products

If you create digital products such as templates, eBooks, audio files, software or photography, then you can sell them on your blog. Selling goods online is much easier than most people think. With a WordPress blog you can use an e-commerce plugin such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads. These fantastic plugins do all the hard work behind the scenes after installation. E-commerce plugins also integrate your blog with payment gateways like Paypal.

Sell online courses

Passing on your knowledge to others is something that comes naturally to most. You may already be writing articles that show readers how to complete specific tasks. This can be structured into online courses. Popular online course providers such as Udemy and Codecademy have thousands of people signing up to their courses. Like them, you can offer step by step guides or even videos with detailed instructions on your chosen subject.

Setting up a website to offer online courses is straight forward. If you are using WordPress then you have a selection of LMS (learning management system) plugins to choose from. LearnPress and Tutor LMS are two of the most popular ones you can download. Both allow you to build up your courses with ease and come with add-ons that will help you integrate with payment options and membership plugins.

Start a podcast

If you are comfortable behind a microphone, starting a podcast might be the career for you. Podcasts are popping up everywhere at the moment. In fact, almost 2 million podcasts are currently active. That tells us that people love this form of media. The good news is that starting a podcast doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take up lots of your time. You can pick up a microphone and a pair of headphones for under $100. Software and hosting can be sourced for a low cost or even for free. If you are a mac owner then GarageBand is an excellent piece of free software for editing your podcast. For non mac users, Audicity is a good free alternative. Buzzsprout is a popular choice for podcast hosting. It includes a free starter plan , as do several other similar services.

Once you have your equipment in place, you can begin working on your content. If you already have a bunch of blog posts, you can use them to form your initial podcast episodes. Spend some time honing your podcasting skills and building an audience. After a while you can offer customers a monthly subscription to your podcast. Podcasting is a growing and thriving medium. It also has a massive amount of brilliant resources that will help you get started.

Tools to help you monetize a blog

When you begin to think about how to monetize a blog, your head might be spinning at the amount of work involved. You need to consider which platform to use, SEO, marketing, design and much more! Thankfully there are lot’s of free tools out there that can help. Let’s look at some e-commerce and digital marketing tools that will give you a big advantage:


Finding the right platform to build your blog with is a very important step. You have a lot of options here. Wix, Squarespace, Shopify and Weebly are just some of the great platforms you can pick from. But for more flexibility, low costs and ease of use, I suggest you opt for WordPress. WordPress comes in two forms. One is called which is a hosted service similar to Wix, Squarespace etc. These platforms cost a monthly fee and have limitations on your domain name and extra features. The version of WordPress I am suggesting you opt for is the free platform. powers over 40% of ALL websites. It’s popularity is down to it’s ease of use, thousands of themes (templates), thousands of plugins (add-ons) and because it is free! What you do need, as with any website, is a domain name and hosting. Big hosting companies such as GoDaddy and Bluehost offer WordPress packages. For just a few dollars per month, they install and set up WordPress for you. The great thing about WordPress is that you can install free plugins that will help you monetize your blog right away.


With over 5 million active installations, WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce solution you can find. This WordPress plugin allows you to create professional store fronts on your website. It works equally well with physical products and digital downloads.

WooCommerce integrates with all major payment gateways. It also works seamlessly with SEO, digital marketing and page building plugins. For more complicated e-commerce functions such as tax and shipping, WooCommerce allows you to configure these in detail. For a free plugin, this is an extremely powerful e-commerce solution with in-depth documentation and a large community on hand to help.

Easy Digital Downloads

Another excellent WordPress e-commerce plugin is Easy Digital Downloads. EDD is aimed at those selling digital products that can be anything from music files to e-books. This free plugin is super easy to use. It allows you hook up your website to any major payment gateway. It’s then just a case of adding EDD payment buttons to your website next to your products. It has a wide variety of add-ons that you can download for free or sometimes a small fee. These include add-ons for SEO, marketing, security and customer engagement.

Easy Digital Downloads


Email marketing should always play a big part in your marketing efforts. Building a strong mailing list can bring you a lot of success down the line. Giving away something free on your website, such as an e-book or e-guide, in exchange for someone submitting their email address, is probably the easiest way to build a mailing list. You can then use the list for future promotions. Mailchimp is a free tool that allows you to create nice emails from pre-made templates. It also has excellent reporting tools.

Google Analytics

We highly recommend that you link your blog to Google Analytics from day one. This free tool provides you with vital data as your blog grows. Data includes how your visitors got to your website (i.e. organic search, direct or referral traffic), which type of device they used, which country (or even city) they came from and a lot more. Some of this data will help you understand how your visitors interact with your content and thus helping you decide on changes to make improvements.

Google Console

Google Console has a few tools that can help you improve your website including sitemap submission and web crawler reports. But its most interesting aspect is its search performance reports. This tells you exactly what your visitors are searching for in Google to find your web pages. For search terms they are entering, you are also given the clicks, impressions and average positions of those searches.


Yoast is a free SEO plugin for WordPress with over 5 million active installations. SEO is a big and often complex subject. But Yoast makes it much easier to optimize your content for search engines. For each post or page you create, Yoast allows you to add a focus keyword or keyphrase. It then tells you how to optimize your content for that keyword. Additionally, the plugin also rates your content readability and offers tips on how to improve it.

This fantastic plugin also assists with your off-page SEO. It has options for sitemaps, social media integrations and much more.

Yoast SEO WordPress

Keyword Planner

Using relevant keywords in your content is essential if you want to bring significant traffic to your blog. Finding these keywords is simple with tools such as Google’s own keyword planner. The planner tool is essentially for Google Ads, but you don’t have to create an advert to use the tool.

Simply search for a keyword or term related to your topic and you will be given data on how many people search for that term monthly. Even better, you are given a list of related search terms and data for those terms.


Canva is a free tool for creating promotional material for websites, blogs and social media. It has a fantastic drag and drop interface and is perfect for those who don’t have design skills or access to expensive software such as Photoshop. Canva also has a large library of ready-made templates for everything from web banners to social media posts, saving you a lot of time and effort.

How to promote your blog to make money

Setting up your blog to make money is only half the battle. In order to actually bring in some income, you are going to have to get visitors to your website. Promoting your blog requires learning a few techniques we will explore next. But above all it requires a lot of patience.

You are unlikely to attract thousands of visitors to your blog right away. But don’t worry, nobody does. If you continue to believe in your content, write consistently and use the correct SEO techniques and tools, you will find success before long.

Let’s look at some of the best ways you can promote your blog:

Create a strong brand image and message

Having, or not having, a strong brand can make or break your blog. How others perceive you is important and it is therefore vital that you know who you are aiming your blog at. It’s difficult to create a brand that everyone buys into but the important thing here is that your target audience buys into you.

Your brand should work well on all levels starting from your colours, logo and images. This should then follow all the way through to your content on your blog, social media channels and offline marketing. Think about what is important to you, your subject and your visitors. A good clear message should be consistent over all media types.

Put these things together and others will look at you as a serious professional with something important to say or sell. People follow and engage with strong brands, so this is a great way to promote yourself.

Create optimized articles with SEO techniques

Writing interesting content alone is not enough to bring visitors to your blog. If you want your articles to be seen among millions of others posted daily, you will have to optimize your content for search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) includes techniques used to boost your rankings based on what we know about Google’s algorithms.

This, among other factors, is done by using your keywords in your content in the right places. It looks at how you form your title tag, URL, image alt text and the page content.

Remember that well written articles are more likely to be shared on readers blogs or social media feeds. This will provide backlinks to your blog which is another very important factor for how Google ranks your site.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing can be used as an important part of your overall Content Marketing strategy. Pushing your products or services constantly on different social media platforms is not the way to do it though. The most successful businesses on social media offer something valuable to their followers.

By offering industry related advice, links or guides, you can become an influencer within your field. This earns trust from followers and they will be far more likely to go to your blog to find out more about you and your services. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the obvious platforms where you should have a business presence. But new social media platforms become popular overnight. So keep an eye out for emerging websites. Also remember that YouTube is always a popular place to promote your business.

Email Marketing

Email marketing has been around since the beginning of digital marketing and remains a profitable strategy to this day. It’s a low cost promotional tactic and is not difficult to do. A common way to successfully use email marketing is to offer your visitors something in exchange for their email address. This might be free ebook, newsletter or anything you can entice them with.

Once you have built up a list of subscribers, you can email them regularly with promotional emails. Remember not to always go for the hard sell in these emails though. Most people can’t be bothered with sales emails and will bin them right away. Instead, use similar tactics to your other content marketing strategies. By offering useful industry news or tips in your emails, customers are more likely to read them. You can then offer links to your products or services within this content. If, however, you have a special discount or offer, then sure, go for the hard sell!


If you are starting a new blog, it is likely that you will have a small budget to begin with. Advertising your blog doesn’t have to be expensive but if you don’t do it properly, the costs can quickly rise. A good place to start is social media advertising. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest offer advertising options that will only cost you a few dollars.

This is a great way to test different platforms and campaigns to see which bring the most success for your blog. The reporting tools on these platforms are excellent and give you an insight into who and where people are engaging with your adverts.

Facebook advertising

Guest Posts

You can find other blogs in (or related to) your niche that are looking for guest authors to write posts for their blog. This is something that can benefit both their blog and yours at the same time. The blog owner gets extra articles with little effort. You, as the guest writer, can add a link back to your own website to boost your blog traffic.

You can find guest post opportunities by searching for something like this in Google:

keyword “submit a guest post”

Replace the word keyword with your topic. This will give you a list of guest post submission pages within your niche. Read their guidelines closely and submit an eye- catching article idea. When accepted, remember to write an engaging post just as you would on your own blog. Also remember to add a relevant link back to your website. This will provide traffic, a strong backlink and will boost your search rankings.

Next steps

Monetizing a blog has never been easier than it is today. There are many ways it can be done, from adding a simple advert to your website, to selling your own products. It doesn’t have to be expensive as we have shown. What it does require is a lot of dedication and patience. Almost all blogs won’t make you money from day one. But by using some of the free tools and techniques we have discussed, you can make your blog a financial success.

14 free Google Marketing Tools that will improve your website

Google tools for website development and marketing

As a business owner, keeping up with your competitors is a tough task.

Thankfully there are lots of amazing tools out there to lend a helping hand.

Even better, some of the best ones are free!

Whether you are a web developer, graphic designer, content marketer or basically anyone with a website, Google provides a range of free tools that will give you the edge over your rivals.

So let’s look at the best free Google marketing tools that will improve your website. (more…)

How to decide what to blog about

How to decide what to blog about

So, you have decided to write a blog. And so you should. It’s a great way to promote a business, gain website traffic or even make money.

But what should you blog about?

Well, we are going to help you decide. In this article we will look at the different types of blogs and popular blog topics. Furthermore,  we will show you how to find fresh content for your blog.

When blogging first became popular, it was a great way for people to write about their interests and post them online. Bloggers could tell the world about their hobbies or anything else they felt people would enjoy reading about. Many blogs are still just a platform for us to write about things we enjoy. But the world of blogging has grown into something much bigger.

Pretty much every professional business, from small start-ups to global leaders, now has a blog. The reason for this is that blogs are a vital part of marketing, specifically content marketing.

Content Marketing involves providing free content to your target audience. The content can be on blogs, email, social media, e-books or videos. Being informative and engaging is the key. Offering helpful content, tutorials and tips related to your business can provide many benefits.

Ultimately,  the aim is to lead potential customers to your online products or services. Providing free helpful content earns trust within your niche. On top of that, people may see you as an influencer within your industry over time.

Types of Blogs

The first question to ask yourself when thinking about starting a blog is: What will I blog about? The answer is likely to come under one of the following blog types:

A personal blog

This is pretty much just like a personal social media feed. A place where you just want to write about things you are currently doing or interested in. Almost like an online personal diary.

A blog about your favourite hobby

Lots of people create blogs relating to their favourite pastime. It might be about a sports team, travel, playing video games, watching movies or tv shows. This can be anything you want to write about and that you think readers will find interesting. But, just because the topic is about a hobby, doesn’t mean your blog can’t grow to be extremely popular and even profitable.

A blog to promote a business

Blogging is a very effective way of promoting a business. Every business looking to stay ahead of the competition has a content marketing strategy. For forward thinking businesses, blogging is a big part of that strategy. Producing interesting articles related to your industry will bring targeted organic traffic to your website. Great content will also be shared on social media and linked to from other blogs in your niche. All of this adds up to more visitors to your website. Even better, these visitors are very likely to be interested in your products or services.

Keep in mind, blogging to promote a business is a low-cost strategy, but not a quick win. Doing it the right way can be time consuming. It involves topic research, keyword research and SEO copywriting techniques. Also, Google may take some time to index your posts. But the long-term benefits of blogging make it more than worthwhile.

Popular Blog Topics

Any type of blog can become popular, and many can even make money. This is true for all business, personal and hobby-based blogs as mentioned above. This can be done through advertising, affiliate marketing and many other methods.

Here are some of the most popular topics people use for their blogs:

Food & Drink

The number of blogs relating to food and drink has grown massively in the past few years. We are all becoming more conscious of our diet and what is good and bad for our bodies. This has led to lots of online information about healthy recipes, special diets, energy boosting smoothies and everything in between.

This niche is not just about healthy recipes though. You will just as easily find blogs about cupcakes, cocktails and burgers. The bottom line is, this is a tough topic if you want to stand out. But if you find your own unique angle then there are millions of people out there searching for food and drink related information. Companies who provide food related products know this and will be happy to pay for advertising on popular blogs. If you have your own products to sell, even better.

food blog


Travel is one of the biggest industries in the world, contributing around $2.5 trillion to the global economy yearly. Blogs focussing on travel guides, hotel reviews, restaurants and visitor attractions can bring a ton of visitors. This can provide income via advertisements, affiliate links and paid reviews. It might also be a good idea to add a user forum to this type of blog. Forums allow visitors to share vacation experiences and travel tips.


A lifestyle blog can be about anything in your day-to-day life that you are passionate about. This might be home furnishings, fashion, money or weddings. It can be related to your home, work or social life. Lifestyle is a broad term and another niche in a busy market. But it is very popular, meaning that if you can find your own angle then visitors will follow.

Health & Fitness

Health and fitness have an impact on all of our lives. This means that people are searching for information on this topic in their millions every day. It can range from physical workout tips to mental health advice. If you feel you can offer an interesting view within this niche, then it can potentially bring you a lot of traffic and even financial gain.


Being a parent is a tough job, especially for first time parents. Bringing up children covers so many different topics and parents are always searching for the best solutions. If you are a parent willing to share your experiences and best practices, then you will gain a large loyal following. Popular blogs within this niche are huge and have hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. This brings in lots of monetizing opportunities such as affiliate marketing and advertising.


The gaming industry continues to grow year on year. With multiple platforms and continuously changing technologies, the gaming industry is perfect for a blog. You can help keep gamers informed about all the latest developments. And with such a wide market you can narrow your topic down to a subject that you are an expert on. This time of blog attracts a loyal following if your content is engaging. Add a forum or somewhere where visitors can contribute to the discussion. Once you build a strong gaming community, you can offer advertising space at a premium.


Writing about your favourite sports team might be something you want to do just for fun. But for many sports bloggers, this also brings in extra income through advertising and affiliate links. Being passionate about your blog content is paramount to success. And this is true for sports blogs more than any other niche. Fellow fans will share your passion and opposition fans will argue about your content with equal measure. The great thing is, this will bring you lots of loyal visitors. Adding a discussion forum will enhance your blog ever further in this niche.

The 3 most important aspects of picking a topic are:

Choose something you are passionate about

The most successful blogs in the world are done by people who are very passionate about their subject. Enthusiasm in content shines through and connects with the reader instantly. If you don’t care about the subject you are writing about, this also resonates with the reader. As far as they are concerned, if you don’t care about the topic then why should they?

The other benefit of picking a topic you are passionate about is that your content won’t dry up. You will continue to want to write articles about things that you are deeply interested in. The opposite of this is also true. If you are not fully invested in your topic, then you will find it very difficult to write new interesting articles.

Choose something you know lots about

Passion and enthusiasm for your topic is vital but that alone isn’t enough if you don’t know enough about your topic. A good solid understanding of your subject will go a long way when you start to write posts. Cover the basics first to get the ball rolling. It would be difficult to be an expert on every aspect of your chosen niche. But you can grow your knowledge as the blog grows.

Keep up to date with the latest developments by reading news, social media and other blogs within your industry. This will help keep your content fresh with new ideas. Before you know it, you will be a respected member of your niches community. This can bring you a bucket load of traffic from multiple sources.

Choose a topic people want to read about

Picking a topic that others don’t want to read about is going to get you nowhere. So, it’s important to do your research first. Researching topics is straight forward. The easiest way is to do a Google search on your subject. This will give you a good idea of the kind of things people are writing about and interested in within your niche. The search results will also give you related searches. This tells us what people are typing into Google related to your topic.

There are a bunch of other great tools that can help you decide which niche to settle on. Google Trends will provide you with ideas of topics that are currently trending. You can narrow down your search to location and other demographics. Also, you can use the search function on Quora. Quora is a massive website where people ask and answer questions on every subject under the sun. Type in a question relating to your topic to see what kind of things people want to know about. This can provide you with not only a popular topic, but also some great ideas for articles.

Your research can go as far as you want it to. Check out social media platforms and type your topic into keyword research tools like UberSuggest and SEMRush. The more research you do, the clearer subject idea you will have. We will look further at some of these tools in the next section of the article.

If you find that the specific topic you want to use is not very popular, think of coming at it from a different angle. You can maybe choose a more popular broader subject that includes your topic.

Creating Content for your Blog

Your content is the heart and soul of your blog. This should be by far the most interesting part of your blogging journey. Back at the start of this article we talked about researching your topic thoroughly before you start writing content. As we discussed, through your research, you should find a clear idea of what you want to write about. If your research has been thorough,  you will have a bunch of article ideas to get you started.

If, however, you are suffering from a bout of writer’s block, here are some ideas for finding fresh content:


A simple Google search for terms relating to your topic will throw up some good content ideas. You can adapt these for your articles. Among the search results you will also find “People also ask” and “Searches related to” sections. Both of these show you what people have searched for recently or often, related to your search term. Sticking with Google, you will also find some great ideas using the Google Trends website. Again, just search for your topic and you will be given lots of fresh content ideas. Google Trends also allows you to compare two similar search terms. And you can filter results by country. This gives you a good indication of what people are currently searching for within your niche in different parts of the world.

google trends

Social Media

Billions of us use social media channels every day. A quick search for your topic on your favourite platform will give you some great article ideas. Also, keep an eye on influencers within your industry on social media. They will be talking about the most popular subjects and latest trends. You can also engage with other users on these platforms. Find out what kinds of things they would like to read about.


Keep an eye on your competitors (particularly the successful ones!) and find out what they are writing about. You can offer your own take on these popular articles and post them on your blog. Good resources you can use to spy on your competitors are UberSuggest and SEMRush. Simply enter a rival’s web address and you will see lots of data related to their website traffic.


Do a search related to your topic on Quora’s question and answer website. This will give you a good indication of what the hot topics are in your industry. It will also tell you exactly what people are interested in and how you can help them with your article. Additionally, sign up to Quora and answer some of the questions yourself. This can generate extra traffic for your blog.


This is a great place to find keywords and article ideas at the same time. Type in a popular keyword and you will see lots of related search terms along with their search popularity and ranking difficulty. On top of this, you can also enter a competitor’s URL and find out what keywords they are ranking for.


Similar to Uber Suggest, SEMrush will provide you with lots of juicy competitor data and amazing keyword ideas for articles. Once you have a few articles under your belt, go back to SEMrush and add your own blog to projects. This will provide you with a lot of important data about your own content and how it can be improved.

Next Steps

We hope this article helps you find a blog topic you are passionate about. Enthusiasm for your topic is a great start. That alone, however, isn’t enough for your blog to be a success. Research is the key here. Find a subject that not only interests you but will interest others. As explained, that data is easy to find with the available tools. Once you find that perfect topic, you will have lot’s of ideas to make your blog grow. Continuing to learn more about your subject will keep your content fresh and interesting. Once you have an established blog,  you can earn money from your hard work if that is your goal.