How to make money with your blog

More than a few people have approached us at Sumy Designs about how to monetize their blog, and it’s easy to explain how to set up ads, but what isn’t easy is actually having those ads make money. So to begin, let’s start with expectations, because the reality of profiting off a blog is much different than what people expect.

For most people, they have a blog and then they sign up for an ad program like Google Adsense, add the script to their website with ads in the posts or widgets or header, etc, and then they expect to make money.

In order to actually make money on a blog that way, you have to have traffic on your site. And not just a little traffic, you need a lot of traffic. The hard part isn’t creating the ad account or putting the ads on your site, the hard part is getting enough traffic to your site to make the site pay off.

And people who make money with their website by creating content, the people who really make bank, are probably working on their websites and social media presence full time. That is not to say that you can’t be successful at it if you don’t do it full-time, but it’s a lot harder than you think it’s going to be. So how do you get started?

Have Kick Ass Content

To start with, you need to have kick ass content that makes people come back for more. You’ll notice the sites that do well, the ones that have lots of commenters and participation and lots of subscribers and followers, those sites have great content. They are funny, witty, knowledgeable, profound or even provocative. They have an angle that keeps people coming back.

This kind of content typically isn’t your run of the mill content, it usually reflect the writer’s personality. If someone is a greater writer, writing great content that makes the readers feel something. It often provokes an emotional response, whether that be happiness or anger, emotions keep bringing people back.

You’ll also want to consider your blog posting frequency. People won’t keep coming back if you aren’t posting very often.

You are highly unlikely to monetize a website if you aren’t producing regular content that really interests your followers.

Clickbait Headlines

Do you know what TL;DR means? It stands for Too Long, Didn’t Read. In 2021, people no longer have the attention span for long-form content, but they do skim. Those titles that you see on social media with the excerpts are going to draw in the clicks. If your posts have intriguing or interesting headlines and titles, you are much more likely get people to click on those headlines. And perhaps even more important, if your headlines are good enough, they’ll get shared. And shared some more. And the more shares, the more traffic to your site.

Clickbait is a term used to describe a headline that is written specifically to get clicks, is often outlandish or unbelievable, and is designed to make people want to click through for more information.

“A dozen sheep get stuck on a cliff ledge, you won’t believe what happened next!”

Example clickbait headline

How to Monetize Your Blog

Social Media

If you want to make money by blogging, then your content absolutely must get shared and while some people will share via email or text, the vast majority of them will share it via social media. And that means you need to be on social media, and you need to share your posts on social media.

But more than sharing posts on social media, you’ll need to be active and engaged, creating social media posts, responding to others, and being more than just a presence. One of what I feel like is the greatest success stories in monetized social media is for WeRateDogs®. They have created what appears to be a booming business via social media and they are able to make it successful in a number of ways. Posting different content on different platforms, making it funny and interesting or heartwarming, and most of all, engaging with their followers. If you aren’t following them, I highly recommend, at least if you like dogs.


The truth is, if you want to make ad revenue by blogging, you must have a lot of traffic, and getting traffic takes work. Most of the blogs you see making significant income are blogging as a full-time job. It usually doesn’t happen by accident.

Other ways to bring in blog revenue

Affiliate marketing

Another way to bring in revenue with your blog is through affiliate marketing. What this means is that you are writing content and link to products or websites that provide you with a referral fee or other compensation when people come to their site via your site and make a purchase. For example (disclaimer, this is a referral link) if I was to link to a web host I like, such as Kinsta, and you clicked through on that link and purchased web hosting, then I would get a small referral fee from that purchase. I also recommend Beaver Builder to folks, and if you buy that software via that link, I get a little compensation.

You could also include affiliate links for stores like Amazon and make money from those sales as well.

These affiliate commissions aren’t a lot, so to make much money by doing this, again, the traffic to your site has to be fairly significant. Additionally, people have to believe you are an authority on the topic before they’ll take your advice and buy the product or service.

Sponsorships

Another option to make money on your blog is to get businesses to sponsor your posts. If you can’t afford to work at your blog full time, this may be a better option, especially if you are good at sales. The reason why this can be more profitable is because it doesn’t rely on a certain number of hits or amount of traffic. You work with the business on what the sponsorship will entail and then they pay. If you are a proficient salesperson, this may be a really good option for you.


Making money via a blog sounds like a great idea, but in truth is a lot of work! It will take a lot of time and dedication to make it a success and of course, there are no guarantees.

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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