How Does a Blogger Make Money? A List of Revenue Sources for Bloggers

It took me a while to accept the fact that blogging is my job.  It quit being a hobby/side gig/way to make extra cash a long time ago.  It became my job when I quit my full time job years ago.

But I know that there are a lot of people that don’t think of blogging as a job.  And there are cases when it’s not.  When it is just a hobby because that’s what the blog author intends it to be.  But there are plenty of cases in which blogging is a job.  

If you are making money from your blog then it’s a job. 

That’s pretty much the easiest distinction to make.

So blogging is my job.  Yes, I make money.  I don’t think a lot of people (and I’m speaking of people I know personally) realize that I do.  I’m not rolling in the dough, but I contribute to my household with the money I make (and occasional perks I receive).  But I think the reason why a lot of people don’t know that I make money with my blog is because I don’t usually lead with “I’m a blogger” when people ask if/where I work.  For the most part, everyone I meet thinks I’m a former-Kindergarten-teacher-turned-stay-at-home-homeschool-mom.  I’m always hesitant to tell people I have a job because then it’s, “Oh, what do you do?”  There are so many misconceptions about “bloggers” that I usually just avoid the conversation.

But no more!  Blogging is my JOB.  I spend a ridiculous amount of time creating content, answering emails, editing images, applying for media campaigns, negotiating tasks and rates, crunching traffic numbers, keeping up with FTC regulations/Facebook rules/the latest Pinterest changes, doing “technical stuff” – HTML, CSS, BLEH (probably my least favorite part) and managing social media.  And I get paid for it (however underpaid it might be based on the amount of hours I put in). I have tasks that must be done, deadlines that have to be met and people that must be responded too.  That makes it my job.

BUT before you run off and get a domain name and start writing posts, know this – it is very hard to make money blogging.  Especially in your first year or so.

To start making money with a blog you need a self-hosted blog with it’s own domain ( – not  You can’t run ads on a “free site” blog and lots of companies won’t work with you without your own domain.  This is a lot of technical stuff that this post is NOT about.  So I won’t be spending any time on these items.  Use this post as a checklist AFTER you’ve gotten the technical stuff out of the way.  Just know that it will cost money upfront to set up your blog – hosting, domain name, and in my case, a really good tech-y person to help fine tune the design of your blog.

With that said, lets get to it!

How Does a Blogger Make Money

How to Make Money Blogging

Revenue Source Ideas for your blog

Some of these revenue sources don’t require a blog.  If you find yourself with a large following on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or with a very active Facebook Page (Page, not personal profile) then you might be able to find some ideas in this list!

Affiliate Networks

If you’re okay with selling items (or linking to items to sell) then affiliate marketing is for you.  Here are some to use.

Join ShareaSale and you can connect with hundreds of companies that will pay you a commission for linking to their stores or products and generating sales.  Often times, some merchants will send you sale or product info and pay you $$10 just for posting it PLUS regular commission.   Once you join ShareaSale, you’ll have to apply for each individual merchant you want to work with.  Some that I personally love posting for are Cents of Style, Jane, Gymboree/Crazy8*, Stella & Dot*, CustomInk*, Flirty Aprons, No NDA*, and Gazelle*.  Those marked with (*) regularly offer bonus payments for posting.

Brandcycle is similar to ShareaSale.  I’ve only been using them for about a year but I’m pleased with the earnings and the variety of retailers they have to work with.

I’ve used Commission Junction almost as long as I’ve had a blog (which is quickly approaching a decade!)  Lots of retailers to work with.  If beauty blogging is your niche, check out Stila Cosmetics and Walgreens affiliate programs.  If books are your thing, check out BetterWorldBooks and Thrift Books affiliate programs. is another affiliate program option.  They regularly offer $5-$10 just for posting an advertiser’s promotion – I’ve been paid for posting Macy’s, Nike and HP offers.   They also sponsor gift card giveaways almost weekly and pay $.10 per person that enters through your affiliate link. They also offer deep linking to products on tons of websites so if I see something I want to promote, I can make a direct affiliate link for it.  I don’t make bank off but I like how easy their offers are.

Join Amazon’s Affiliate program.    Amazon literally has everything.  If books are your blog niche, create affiliate links that take your readers to the book you’re talking about on Amazon and earn commission if they buy it (and anything else they buy within 24 hours of clicking on your link!  Beauty bloggers can link to cosmetics, pet bloggers can link to pet items, mommy/baby bloggers can link to your must have items you’re always talking about – and earn money!

Social Campaign Companies

If you like creating content – coming up with original crafts, recipes, tutorials, then Social Fabric is a good fit for you!  Social Fabric connects you with companies that are looking for specifics (a recipe using a certain product, for example), you create the content within their specs, post, share on social media, and get paid!  I’ve done “shops” (what they call the jobs) where I was paid $50 to $235!   Linqia is another site like Social Fabric, as is TapInfluence.   Why would you want to be involved in more than one?  Quite simply, more opportunities for paid opportunities!  It’s a lot to juggle, but it’s necessary to diversify.

BlogPaws obviously has a specific niche but it’s out there.  I’ve worked with them a few times and I don’t have a pet-specific blog.  I just happen to have a pet.  Their campaigns are usually pretty good – I can expect to bank about $100 for each one I’m chose for.

Ads and Ad Networks

Google Ads (Adsense) is the easiest when you’re first starting out since there aren’t any traffic requirements for joining.  You place the banners on your site and get paid for impressions (views from your traffic) and click-throughs if people click on them.  This is what we call passive income.  You place the code and forget about it.  Google populates ads inside the banner area.  You can put these in your blog side bar and also in your content area for more impressions.

Below is an example of a Google Adsense Ad within a post.  They are moderately unobtrusive (they don’t cover the whole screen, they don’t “pop up” or make noise, and you can easily scroll past them), however, it puts the ad in front of your viewers eyes and that’s what Adsense calls an “impression” and the more impressions, the more you make.  This is why I put them in my blog posts in addition to the one on the sidebar.


Media.Net is the Yahoo version of Adsense.  I don’t use these a ton but I do have them placed here and there AND it’s passive income. This is what their ad units look like:

Skimlinks is a little different than the previous ad networks but I’ve included it here because at it’s core, it’s passive income.  There are ways you can actively use it but I mostly just use it for passive income.  You set Skimlinks up on your blog and it automatically detects affiliates it can link to.  If you mention a store or a product you really like and Skimlinks can match it to a merchant in their database, they’ll automatically link it.  Then when someone clicks on it and makes a purchase you get commission.  I’ve earned commission on products and stores I normally would’ve never posted on my own because Skimlinks picked up on the keywords and linked to something relevant.


So those are my best suggestions for generating a revenue as a blogger.  Do you have a site or network you use that you just love?  Drop it in the comments and I’ll check it out and maybe add it to the list!

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