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[Case Study] 4 Ways “Smart Bloggers” Make Money From Their Blog

how do bloggers make money

The internet is filled with a lot of blogs. Maybe its because people are passionate about creating content that adds value to other people, sharing information or just because there is a lot of buzz on how you can make a lot of money becoming a blogger.

The idea of making money or actually making a living from a blog is so mouth-watering that anyone thinks they can do it, so they just register a domain, pick a theme and start blogging with hopes that money will start coming in.

News flash – it won’t, making money from your blog requires deliberate actions but you are in luck because after this post, you will have gems of ideas.


Brace yourself, this is  a very detailed and value packed article. Read every line of text because there are gems hidden in between the lines


There is nothing bad about going into the blogging space with intentions to make money but if you check closely, majority of the bloggers who make money from their blog didn’t start with the money in mind. They started because they wanted to create and share information about a field they are interested in or are passionate about and along the line, they started to see and create streams of income from their blog.

This article is not going to be about how to create a blog or how to start blogging but if you would like a well detailed blogpost on that and the steps required, you should check my post on “How To Start A Blog and Turn It Into A Brand in 2018”, this post will also not be about how to write blogposts for your blog – you will be able to download a FREE eBook on that at the end of this post.

This post is about making money with blogs. No BS or Fluff! Just straight value content.

Now, back to the money. How do bloggers make money with their blogs? Before I go into the exact no-bullshit breakdown, the moment you start to think about making some money from your blog (which you should), it becomes more than just a blog, it becomes a real business and just like any other business, if you put mediocre attention and resources into it, you will get ZERO or mediocre results out of it as well.

By the way, I will like to break some mis-conceptions and ideas most people have about making money with blogs.

The “Now Now” Mentality.

A large percentage of people think that making money on the internet is simple. They believe there is a shortcut. Actually there is a shortcut, but you have to be willing to spend a lot of money which am guessing if you are just starting out – you don’t really have.(you are not alone!)

I don’t know if it’s the motivational videos people watch on Facebook or Youtube that makes them think success is easy or maybe its the success stories of entrepreneurs they read online about how they started with $0 and are now worth millions is what makes them think it can happen overnight. Let me just say this, success is not easy. If it was, everyone would be successful.

Success is not easy. If it was, everyone would be successful.

It takes well and deliberate thought out plan and execution.

I get a lot of messages on my Facebook page and email from people who are looking for a magic wand, a software or system that will make them money on the internet with little or no work or investment. These type of mentality irritates me and I always send them to this post of mine called “How To Start An Online Business With Little Money (with examples)” so they can get some perspective of how money making actually works in the real world and online.

One of the reasons I decided to create this blogpost is because of a recent message I got from a guy who “has a blog”.

Just like a large number of people, he created his blog with the sole aim of making money FAST. So, he reached out to me to advice him on how to make money from Google Adsense by running Facebook ads to his blog.

Seriously, I admire his mindset. I think people should think about making money from their blogs not only because they can but because it is possible. Even though he has the right mindset (wanting to make money with his blog), he had the wrong approach.

His whole approach was to run Facebook ads to a post and then make profit through Google adsense and in order to achieve this “profit”, he bombarded his blogpost with Google adsense ads! There were so much ads on the page that I couldn’t even read any part of the article. (which was copied and pasted from another website by the way)

So, to make profit – he assumes when people lands on his post through a Facebook Ad – they will click on the google ads and he will make some profit from it.

This approach even though it has some potential, it is totally wrong. Nobody will click on a google ad after coming to a blog to read about something you promised on your Facebook ad but then finding out that there are loads of ads on the post before even getting to the main reason why they are on the page. They will not only be mad and get out of your website, but I doubt Facebook will approve an ad that goes to page with a million google ads.

Google Adsense Won’t Make You Rich.

If you ask the average Joe how he intends to make money from his blog, he would say through Google Adsense or paid ad placements. Trust me, I also had the same mentality – its wrong. Google adsense will not make you rich unless you are getting tens and hundreds of thousands of website visits per day.

Google adsense is one of the lowest paying ad platforms but almost everyone seems to think they can make millions from it overnight.

The amount you can make on Google adsense depends on so many variables like;

  1. The location of the visitors. (visitors from Top tier countries like UK, US, Canada and the likes will earn you more than visitors from developing or under-developed countries)
  2. Average duration spent by the total visitors.
  3. Ad location, size and visibility in your blog/articles.
  4. Valid clicks on ads.
  5. The quality of your content. (Health, fitness and Tech blogs e.t.c. will earn more than gossip and entertainment blogs)
  6. The quantity of your content.

Adsense works on a CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPM (Cost Per 1000 Impression) revenue model and I will attempt to explain some of the terms used in Adsense:

  1. CPC – Cost Per Click – This is how much you make when people click on the ads on your blog. It varies anywhere between $0.01 to $1 (It can go up as well but in very rare cases.)
  2. CPM – Cost per 1000 Impressions.
  3. RPM – Revenue per 1000 Impressions.
  4. CTR – Click Through Rate – Clicks per 100 impressions. This varies anywhere between 1% to 10% based on your niche and ad placement.
  5. There are other terms like Pageviews, Impressions and Earnings; which are just exactly what they mean.

On average, for 1000 Visits on your blog, you can earn between $1 – $2 and more depending the factors listed above. ($1 for 1000 visitors? Yes! Or even lower)

Can you see how low that payment is? Imagine the guy who messaged me about wanting to spend money on Facebook ads to get clicks to his website so he can make “profit” from his blog through Google Adsense – he would just be wasting his money because Google adsense is not worth the hassle.

The funny thing I noticed is that blogs making thousands of dollars per month have ZERO or very low amount of ads. (I was shocked too) I used to put a lot of ads in between my content, my sidebars, footer and header but now I only put strategic ads and I have limited the amount of ads in between my content, matter of fact – you won’t see a single ad in the post and this is because they distract the reader from the content.

What To Focus On As A Blogger

  • Creating an amazing blog with high quality content; the guy who messaged me, his blog is filled with posts he just copied and pasted from other websites without changing a word, the image or anything! (Jesus, how can someone be this lousy and lazy?)
  • Reduce or remove Google adsense on your blog for now until you start getting visitors
  • Focus more on making your blog a brand and turning it into a money machine in the long run rather than trying to create a blog that makes money overnight.
  • Read the rest of this post because I am about to drop some GENUINE knowledge.

How Real Bloggers Make Money From Their Blog

4 ways smart bloggers make money from their blog

1. Display Ads

Despite all of my rants above about how Google Adsense isn’t worth it, it is a known fact that you can make money from having ads displayed on your website either by Display Ad networks like Google or by independent advertisers reaching out to you personally to place their ad creatives on your blog.

However, in order to start making some type of meaningful money through Ads – your website needs to be getting ten and thousands of visits per month for the pennies made from these networks to add up and make some type of sense. That’s it in a nutshell!

To earn through Ads, you have to spend some time building your blog into a blog where people are drawn to the content, read more than one article, share with their network and begin to see you as the source to get information about whatever you are blogging about.

You NEED visitors in order to make any reasonable type of money with ads – its that simple!

If you are getting thousands of visitors on your website per month, then you want to register on premium ad display websites like AdThrive or even Google Adsense.

2. Affiliate Marketing.

Now, lets talk about some real business.

Affiliate marketing is basically the act of recommending other people’s product / services and when someone takes action based on your recommendation, you get compensated with a percentage that has been agreed upon (Percentage can be anywhere from 10% to 80% or more and with some affiliate programmes, if the person you recommended to them stays with the business and pays monthly, you can keep receiving commission on a monthly basis)

After spending time studying the strategy used by bloggers who make over $100,000 per month (yes, I know that’s insane!! $100k a month?) , I have noticed that a large chunk of their income comes from affiliate marketing.

Most reputable companies that sells a product or service will always have an Affiliate programme where they pay their affiliates to bring them customers. The reason companies love affiliates and pay them well is because they are bringing sales which they might not have gotten in the first place – so, its a win win for both parties.

The people that will make a killing with Affiliate marketing are people whose blog is congruent with the offers they are promoting.

Let me give you an example;

If your blog is a fashion focused blog, your audience will more likely follow your fashion related product recommendations than they would if you recommended them an insurance service. (This is why its important to ensure your blog has some type of theme or niche that your content follows)

Another example is this; my blog is a Tech, Business and Digital Marketing focused blog. The types of affiliate products and services that would make sense for me to promote are Web Hosting services, Email marketing companies, Entrepreneurship courses and things related to that.

I remember talking to a friend of mine some time ago who has a fashion and beauty focused blog. I noticed she wasn’t thinking of any form of monetization for her blog even though she puts effort to her content and her readers trust her judgment, opinions and recommendations.

So, I told her “When you recommend a product (say a facial or hair product or whatever), instead of just posting the direct link for your readers to buy the product, ensure that the website you are directing them to has an affiliate programme so that you can get a commission from the sales made from your recommendations.

So, I told her that if her readers buys that product because she recommended it to them – she will get a commission (and because a blogpost stays on your website for life, that single blogpost can still be making money as long as people are reading it) .

This is super simple, you don’t loose anything – instead, you make some money from a blogpost you would have written anyways and from a product you would have recommended anyways. Another thing  is; its a win win for everyone – you make money, the business makes money and your readers get the value they need from the product recommendation you made and in some cases even get a discount by using your unique code.

Most e-commerce websites have affiliate programmes because they know the power of affiliates. I don’t think she took my advice though, I guess am too close to her. The people who are close to you almost never take your professional advice. She”s leaving a lot of money on the table.

Not all websites or companies will have affiliate programmes but serious websites and brands do, you can check if a website has an affiliate programme by visiting the footer links on their website or by just asking them. (And its crazy because even though a company might not have an affiliate programme, if you tell them that you have a blog that is in their niche and you want to bring them customers – they might and will be able to set up an affiliate plan for you because they will be making money they wouldn’t have made. It costs them nothing)

If you want to make money blogging, affiliate marketing is the way to go. You are simply making money by creating content and recommendations you would have made anyways and when you make the decision to start making money with affiliate marketing from your blog, you will be more strategic with the types of content you create and from personal experience, since I started promoting affiliate offers on my blogs – I have been writing more blogposts and I have become more creative in the way I create content because this has gone from “just having a blog” to “having a blog that makes money”

There are two (2) ways to find affiliate products to promote, its either you go to websites within the niche your blog is in and then look to see if they have an affiliate programme or you join an affiliate network where you will have access to thousands of affiliate products and services you can potentially promote on your blog.

The most popular and my favorite affiliate website to get products and services to promote in almost all niches and industry is Click Bank . 

You can also do your own personal research on affiliate offerings or product in your niche and then start creating content around them.

Affiliate marketing is cool because you don’t touch the product, you don’t have to worry about the delivery of the product or service, you don’t have to worry about customer service. Everything is up to the business, you make money instantly someone takes action based on your recommendation.

3. Personal Products & Services.

If you think affiliate marketing is cool, wait till you read what am about to tell you.

If you remember what I said about affiliate marketing, you get a commission from actions taken by people you recommend to a business but what if you could keep 100% of the money? Now, this is where the big money comes and also with big money – you know it comes with some hardwork as well.

In order to keep 100% of your money, you will need to own the product or service. By the way, just for clarity – when I say “Product” it doesn’t have to be a physical product. It can be a digital one and I actually recommend you start with a digital product.

You can create a course or write an eBook that people who are interested in what you are talking about will be happy and willing to exchange their money for.

Back to my female friend who has a fashion and beauty blog. How can she make money by creating a product for her blog?

Well, right off the bat – She can create a mini course or eBook around pressing issues that are readers or people who are interested in what she blogs about would be willing to buy. Let me try think of something she can create… (*thinking*) Okay, she can create an eBook for example on “Secret Homemade Avocado Recipe for A Spotless Face”, I just came up with that off the top of head, don’t judge me.

However, I think you get the gist. You create a product on pain points people who are interested in your field will want to know, learn and pay for.

Example 1.

A real example is when I created an eBook called “The $1k Client Blueprint” – an eBook that outlines how website designers can start making $1,000 upwards per web project regardless of where they are based.

I know making money and charging clients is one of the biggest problems creative designers face and  since I have been successful in making tens of thousands of dollars as a website designer, I then used my knowledge to create an actionable guide that people who are interested in web design as a career would be willing to pay for.

I have since dis-continued the sales of the eBook because I launched my FREE online University called NejoUniversity.com and I have a much more detailed video course on how to become a well paid freelancer.

I also created an online course that teaches people how to design high quality websites and graphics and how to monetize those skills they learn from the course. The course was launched at $97 a pop! I created a couple more courses like another one called “Successful Freelancer Blueprint” where I teach people how to run a successful freelance business (this course was strategic because I had a course to teach people how to become freelancers and then I created a follow up course how to then make money after becoming a freelancer). The sale of these courses has also been dis-continued as it is now part of my online University and people can get access to them for free.

You might ask yourself, why am I not selling these products anymore? Why am I leaving so much money on the table? Well, its a long story but I decided to open my online university for FREE because of some personal reasons, all of which is explained in the welcome video of NejoUniversity.com

I hope you get the gist though, you create a product (an eBook or an online Course) in your niche that solves a pressing problem or answers a pressing question and then you sell that on your blog. This way, you keep 100% of the money and because its a digital product, you do not have to ship anything or re-make anything – they get it instantly and you can sell it to an unlimited number of people at the same time without capping out! Its digital godammit!

Do you get the gist?

Example 2.

My blog has also allowed me to grow my brand into the creation and sale of Physical products like my Hustle Hoodies, Sweat Shirts and Tees and my Canvas Wall Art business.

The Presidential Hustle canvas art collection
The Presidential Hustle canvas art collection

Since my blog ThePresidentialHustle.com is more than just a business and tech blog but also a lifestyle brand / blog – it made sense for me to expand and create products that are inline with what Entrepreneurs and hustlers would be willing to buy hence why I created my physical product line.

I don’t touch any of these products either, I have a system in place that handles the orders and production of the products without me having to physically touch any of the product.

Example 3.

Since I started writing blogposts about the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, I have been getting some traction and messages from peopple around the world thanking me for my content, subscribing to my YouTube channel and asking me for professional consultation and advice. Let’s just say I am building a brand as the guy who knows a lot about the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa and can give people actionable insights on how to apply the right way.

How can I monetize my knowledge in this field? Well, I spent some time to create “done for you” templates that people who are interested in applying for the Visa will be so grateful to have and it will help them apply faster and with much confidence knowing they are using a template from someone they trust (I have been able to build trust by creating in-depth articles around the topic – showing my thought leadership in the space).

The templates go for £79.99 a pop and if anyone wants to hire me to consult or review their application, my charge is £99 for 2hours (these prices will increase as I get swamped with a lot of consultation requests)

I have just created a stream of income from my blog from nothing but my experience and knowledge in a field.

Its a very simple process, write about a topic, build trust and then create product and services that people who are interested in that topic will be willing to pay for because it will solve a pressing issue or problem in their life.

Like I said, you should focus on creating small digital products first and then if you feel the urge or need to expand into more things – you should!

Remember, people who look at their blogs as just blogs will not make money but people who think of their blog as a brand and a business will make money from it and will be creative to come up with ideas to make things bigger.

You get what you put in.

4. Personal Branding.

If you haven’t heard of the term Personal Branding, it is basically making money in a way whereby YOU are the product and you are being paid for being who you are!

This is the long game though. This isn’t an overnight thing. You will only be able to make money from your personal brand when you’ve built a brand/blog that people respect and see as a thought leader in your space. (Did anyone’s name come to your head?)

So, instead of building a blog just for blog sake – build a brand. Don’t call your blog Online247news.blogspot.com , instead build a brand and call your blog a name like ANiceName.com or even Yourname.com

I wish someone had told me this earlier when I started blogging in 2013/2014.

I  gave my younger brother this advice months ago and he’s currently running a Car and Auto focused blog with an amazing name, I have told him if he continues to blog straight for a year and keep creating high quality content. Him and his blog will grow into becoming a brand that people will pay premium to consult for advice within his space and more!

I hope he listens to my advice and plays the long game.

If you think about some of the famous and “rich” bloggers you know, you would agree that they can make money from the things below:

  • Being paid Speak
  • Being paid to Write
  • Being paid for Appearances
  • Being paid to post something on their blog or social media (Paid Promotion a.k.a Influencer Marketing)

So, personal branding is another way to make money from your blog. To do this, you need to go away from the mentality of this just being “a blog” to “building a brand” , just like any brand and business, success takes the long game.

So, play the long game. Your personal brand also helps in the sale of your personal products and services I talked about in the third point above.

Have you enjoyed this post so far? Did you find it valuable? Are there other ways bloggers make money or can make money I didn’t talk about? Lets have a conversation in the comment section below.


In an up-coming blogpost, I will be talking about how to get traffic to your blog so you can monetize it properly. If you want to learn how to start a blog, you should check this post of mine out “How To Start A Blog and Turn It Into A Brand in 2018”

If you want to learn How To Get Your First 1000 Email Subscribers for your blog, read this article

To get people to start reading your blogposts and sticking around for more, download my FREE eBook below for the insider scoop and secrets.

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Tags : blogger earningscan you earn money from bloggingearn money onlinehow do bloggers make moneyhow much money can you make blogginghow to earn money from bloghow to make money blogginghow to make money writing a bloghow to start a blog and make money
Daniel Damilola Nejo

The author Daniel Damilola Nejo

Daniel Damilola Nejo is a Nigerian born, London based Creative Designer and Content Creator with love for the hustle and community. He has a Masters in Business Information Systems Management and is Endorsed by the UK Government as a "World Leading Exceptional Talent in Digital Technology" . He is a true hustler and a forward thinking individual who uses his knowledge and skill to add value to lives around the world. He works with startups, businesses and individuals around the world as a digital designer and brand developer. Founder of some Digital startups and brands.

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Download this free eBook and learn:
1. How to Write Blogposts That "sticks"
2. The Secret 4 Steps To Create Traffic Pulling Blogs
3. The 4 Ingredients Of A Blog That Guaratees You Never Run Out Of Things To Write About & More!
SEND MY FREE COPY
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