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15 Potential Income Streams For Bloggers

image - Piggy BankThe most popular question among bloggers has to be, “How do I generate an income stream and profit from my blog”? The truth is, that’s not a simple question because every blogger, every niche, and every goal is different. With that in mind, I’m going to tackle the subject of potential income streams and see if we can’t gain a little perspective and help a few bloggers along the way. I’ll also, like the title says, list 15 potential income streams for bloggers.

Your Good Reputation

First, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention reputation and influence. I’ve talked a lot about influence and authority on this blog and on our videos;  reputation and influence couldn’t apply any more than it does for generating income streams from your blogging effects, either directly or indirectly. It’s VERY important, for long term success, to treat blog income like any other business and offer the best product, at a reasonable price that gives value to your customers. Miss any one of those three elements (good productreasonable price, and great value), you’re going to suffer long term. The reason is reputation and influence.

“With great power comes great responsibility”
~ Peter Parker aka Spiderman

I remember a marketer a long time ago talk about how great the internet was and that the product didn’t matter because there was an endless supply of “people willing to pay“. That was disgusting to me then, and even more now. Thankfully, that concept no longer applies with the recent growth in social sharing and easy access to information. Cross people today and the word can quickly spread across forums, websites and social networks and Google will help people find it. Protect your reputation and be certain that EVERY product you promote, recommend and endorse adds great value to the customer, not because it pays well.

Respect Your Blog – Don’t Trash It Up

Too many ads and too little value in the form of content and information turns your blog into a place most people will avoid after the first visit. Ads, especially a lot of banners, increase distraction and can slow your loads times. Both of those are going to affect the way both site visitors and Google view your blog’s value.

Can There Be Too Much Self-Promotion

We’ve all met that annoying person that talks about themselves all of the time. Whenever someone mentions something about anything, they can’t wait to tell you a story about one of their experiences. That person is tough to be around and, as bloggers, marketers, and business people; we don’t want to be looked at in that manner. Focus is great and we need to stay on target but it’s not all about us, seriously, especially with social media. Set a goal that 80 or 90% of your content, both on and off of your blog, is for and benefits others; do that and I believe, in time, you’ll see the same come back around to you.

Multiple Streams of Income

Right after I point out those people always talking about themselves, I have to tell you a story about myself. lol I’ve had a lot of websites and I’ve made a lot of money on the net. I’ve also watched a lot of that income disappear, both online and offline. I had a membership site that was doing very well but then some very large websites came along and gave a better product away for free. Ouch! We’re talking about ad tracking here.

In another case I had over 130 domains with a couple dozen niche websites/blogs. I learned to play the game pretty well; I studied keyword research, registered exact match domains, slapped just enough content on the site to get ranked, drove in traffic and then funneled them back off by clicking through the ads and watched the profit grow. I thought I learned the game well until Google Panda decided we were playing the wrong game. I’ll get back into niche blogging but not that way.

Anyway, my point is that, time and time again, we see our income come and go; often with little or no fault, or control, of our own (Clearly, the niche blogs, I had that coming). So, in my opinion, we should focus on one task at a time but, ultimately, we need to develop multiple streams of income.

Let’s Get Started

I’m over 700 words and haven’t even listed the Income Streams yet; someone talks a lot. ;) I’m not going to talk a lot about each income stream idea because every blogger has different goals, skills and values. Use it as a memory jogger and consider your niche and then look at those that best fit your goals. Personally, I prefer building residual or passive income.

Potential Income Streams For Bloggers

Okay, The Blogging Income Streams…

  • Affiliate Sales - Selling affiliate products is one of the most popular methods bloggers use to generate an income stream from their blogs. Affiliate Sales isn’t going to make anyone an overnight success but it is relatively simple after you’ve earned your reader’s trust and have gained a little influence, like I mention above.
  • PPC/PPA - I’ll be the first to admit that working PPC and PPA can require a little skill and a lot of testing. Just throwing up ads rarely shows positive results.
  • Coaching - This is a favorite among many popular bloggers and some charge upward of several thousand dollars for an extended one-one coaching program.
  • Local Business Services - Many of us have created an income by helping local business with things like SEO, website design, blog setup and social media.
  • Website reviews - A lot of bloggers have taken their SEO, coding, and design skills and created a nice income from helping improve other blogs and websites.
  • Public Speaking - This one isn’t for everyone but blogging can help build the reputation, contacts and knowledge that could lead to public speaking gigs. Mitch Mitchell from I’m Just Sharing has been hired as a public speaker due to the reputation built from his blog.
  • Membership sites - Think unique service or product. For example, I paid $29/month (I think) to a keyword membership site for well over a year and never gave it a second thought to the cost because it was money well spent.
  • Webinars - Not only paid webinars, even a great free Webinar with the right people and information can pull in sales and leads.

Product Creation

  • Podcasting - Podcasting is something Hot Blog Tips is getting into and if you’re wondering how to profit from Podcasting, I invite you to listen to this podcast: Podcasting and Passive Income – Interview with Cliff Ravenscraft of
  • Videos - Just like blogging, there are a number of ways to profit from video, both directly and indirectly.
  • eBooks - Ebooks aren’t just for list building, some bloggers generate thousands from a single ebook.
  • Mobile Apps - Blogger and iPhone app developer Benny Hsu is doing pretty well. I wrote about Benny’s success story almost two years ago.
  • Niche Sites - I mentioned earlier that I lost my income from niche sites but there’s even more money to be made when done right. I’ll cover more on building niche blogs in the near future, maybe even build one step by step with our readership.
  • Software and other product sales - I know that’s a very broad range but, really, any product with true value, for the right price, and properly exposed to the right market has an income potential. My advice it to find a problem, create a product that solves that problem and build a plan from start to finish and the take action. Don’t forget to take action, this seems to me a step many people miss year and year.
  • Service and Expertise - We mentioned this in the video, having knowledge and experience can have a tremendous amount of value to others. Just like the Fiverr example I mentioned in the video, there’s an almost endless supply of resources and opportunities.

Help Out A Little

I know I have forgot or missed other ways to make money as a blogger. Be a peach and help me out (Where’d I get that from? The first right answer will get a mention). Are you at the money making stage yet? Any suggestions, comments or questions? Feel free…

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38 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. I’ve done a fair bit of stuff online that has brought me a bit of money, from doing paid reviews to promoting affiliates. The latest thing I’m into is making money from YouTube videos. I reckon it’s going to take some time to build my video portfolio but if I hit pay-dirt by getting the right ones it could really pay off.

    Other than that, my lottery sites are slowly increasing in income so that part of my revenue earning strategy is working.
    Peter recently posted..How To Be A MillionaireMy Profile

    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Well that’s good news Peter, I’m glad things are paying off for you. I think the niche has a lot weight when it comes to what works and how well. Have you considered podcasting? That’s my next big project I think.

    • Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Hi Dean, I don’t have anything against bloggers doing sponsored posts but the idea goes against my particular model, which is trust, reputation and influence. It’s tough to build reputation and influence while panning out content to the highest bidder. Like I said though, that’s just my model and everyone has to follow their own path.

  2. Wow some awesome ways to add an income stream. I feel your pain about losing some of your income when the Google updates occurred.

    I also had several niche sites (not 130). I lost a lot of my income when the updates occurred. Thank goodness I didn’t lose all my income. Some of these niche sites are still making me an income, even though I don’t touch them.

    Have you done anymore niche sites since the Google updates?
    Susan Velez recently posted..Setting Up A Case Study For My Flipping Websites Membership SiteMy Profile

  3. Reginald

    Twitter: Reginald_Chan
    Hi Brian,

    Interesting ’roundups’ you got there. At the moment, what works for me best is affiliate sales but at times, not able to sell a product could easily affect your income stream. Double edge blade I would say.

    I am also looking forward to build a simple service and maybe that can grow some stream of income.

    Just my 2 cents and thanks for sharing mate.
    Reginald recently posted..5 Insights You Should Know About Make Money BloggingMy Profile

  4. Twitter: AAAccidentlaw
    I love your point about not over-stuffing your site with adspace. There is definitely an acceptable amount of advertising that viewers will accept and even interact with, but when that threshold is passed, viewers will run from your site for good.

  5. You are right. Monetizing you blog and make potential income out of it not an easy task. It take hard work dedication and will power to achieve anything in this whole wide world.
    Many people have misconception that blogging is getting quick rich scheme. You will become rich in no time. But the reality is different.
    You have to push hard to achieve something. There are lots of hurdles which needs to be cross.
    Thanks for this awesome post.
    Keep it up
    Regards :)
    shristhi recently posted..Top & Best Browser Extensions For More Amazing New Tab Page [ Google Chrome ]My Profile

  6. Twitter: AdrienneSmith40
    Gosh Brian, you pretty much said it all. The only other thing I could think of was slipping sites! I only say this because I have a reader that does this and she’s doing pretty good with it actually. I’ve learned a lot from her but only in the respect of cloning a blog because it’s something I’ll be needing in the near future.

    You’re right though, without having a good product, a reasonable price, and adding great value then you’re probably not going to do well. Your online reputation is everything and that’s why I harp so much about helping people learn. Answer their questions, reach out to them if you need to because they’ll remember you where everyone else just glosses them over. I’m amazed at how many people never respond to emails. Shame on them.

    Great list though, you’ve covered everything I could think of at least. Now we all have to get to work right! ;-)

    Have a great week Brian.

    Adrienne recently posted..How To Change Your WordPress UsernameMy Profile

      • Denise Gabbard

        Twitter: DeniseGabbard
        Not sure I could give up one of my “babies” after working hard on it. I realize people do buy and sell sites all the time– I guess maybe finding a good URL that is undervalued and quickly reselling it after adding some limited content might be okay.
        How does your reader do it, Adrienne?

        Great article, Brian– really comprehensive. I LOVE that you have Local Businesses highlighted! I am still amazed every time I run across a small company that has no presence online at all– and does not understand why they also have no business.
        Denise Gabbard recently posted..Tweak Your Business’s Social Marketing for 2013My Profile

  7. Apollo

    I think niche sites are a very great source for blogging revenues. It may be a bit more challenging, but I def favor niche sites over every other category.

  8. Twitter: viralwriter
    Hi Brian
    The common three methods bloggers use are services, advertisments and affiliate marketing. Your list is really complete and outstanding.

    Having 130 domains? Wow that’s really….I don’t really know how to put it but the google panda really affected many bloggers and this lead to loss of income. I’m try to build a niche site as one of my piggy bank and monetization strategy and I’ll also look into some of your methods and see which one works best for me, though I’m implemented some, not bad for a 2 months old blogger right? :)

    The quote reminds me of my favorite movie but you made a little mistake; it’s not peter parker, it’s ben parker aka spiderman’s uncle :)

    Gilbert Samuel recently posted..SEOPressor Review – My Killer SEO StrategyMy Profile

  9. It is impressive how some bloggers can self-promote themselves too much, especially seeing their “about me” pages bring to one’s mind one single question “hello, i see you really like yourself, but is there anything out there for me as a reader?”. Then they expect to make sales from blogging and wonder why they can’t convert. Anyways, perfectly brought together. Actually I hadn’t even heard of making money out of mobile apps, Benny’s story is amazing. Great post.

  10. hey Brian,
    you have provided a great list of income sources through blogging. right now I am just using PPC but I was thinking about some more revenue sources and your list did a good help to me.

  11. Twitter: Blogbangal
    Hello Brain,

    I don’t like to say more about this article because you have pointed out all the earning sources from a blog. But in my opinion Affiliate marketing is the best ways to make money from a blog.

    If you can write good quality killer product reviews then it is your chance to make huge money from your blog. I like also Google Ad sense.


  12. Twitter: Agung_dev
    Wow, how informative your article. I’m really like the second point: “respect your blog”
    Too many ads are isn’t good for our readers. We must focus on making quality content. Give them all of they wants, then we will get what we wants. Good article. :)

  13. Sai Krishna

    Twitter: saithegeek
    Still i remember the first check i got from adsense, those days are very lovely. Now i’m working hard to make money with affiliate marketing.

  14. Twitter: joseph_arrigo
    Didn’t realize there were so many avenues in blogging to generate income. I use two…affiliate ads and e-books. The biggest challenge for me is driving more traffic to the site. Seems quality content isn’t enough.

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