Blogging for Money A Step-by-Step Monetization Process


Back in 2015, I purchased a mom blog for approximately $6,000. Surprisingly, it turned out to be one of the easiest ways I’ve made money blogging. The process was simple: buy the blog, spend 8 hours optimizing it for monetization, forget about it for two years, invest 90 more hours to drive revenue-generating traffic, increase its monthly income to mid-four figures, unintentionally neglect it, let it drop to low four figures, and sell it to a random buyer for a profit. This story of making around $1,000/hour semi-passively is not a tale of success but rather one of laziness, disinterest, and sheer luck.

If I were to start a blog today with the goal of making money from it, I would follow a simple 5-step monetization process. In this article, we will discuss the various ways to make money from blogging and how to implement these strategies effectively. While many experts suggest focusing on one or two monetization methods, I believe that utilizing all five methods can help increase and diversify your income, ultimately boosting the value of your site.

Before we dive into the monetization process, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of building an email list from day one. An email list is a valuable asset for bloggers as it allows you to build an audience, communicate with them on your terms, and sell to them at scale. You can start by creating a free account on email marketing platforms like Mailchimp or ConvertKit and adding opt-in forms to your blog to passively collect subscribers.

The 5-Stage Monetization Process

To effectively monetize your blog, it is essential to follow a specific order of implementation. The 5-stage monetization process includes:

  1. Affiliate Marketing
  2. Displaying Ads
  3. Selling Your Own Products
  4. Sponsorships
  5. Selling Your Site

Let’s explore each stage in detail:

Stage 1: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting another company’s product on your blog. When a visitor clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. This method is recommended as the starting point for monetization because it offers a relatively easy way to generate consistent monthly income, especially for new bloggers.

To succeed in affiliate marketing, you need to focus on driving consistent traffic to pages where you can organically recommend products. This can be achieved through search engine optimization (SEO), which involves optimizing your web pages to rank higher in search engine results.

Start by conducting keyword research to find affiliate keywords, which are topics that make it easy to recommend products. Tools like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer can help you identify these keywords. Once you have a list of affiliate keywords, create high-quality content around them, build backlinks to these pages, and aim to improve your Google rankings. Repeat this process until you start receiving consistent traffic and earning affiliate commissions.

Stage 2: Displaying Ads

After establishing a successful affiliate marketing strategy, it’s time to join high-paying ad networks and display their ads on your blog. While Google Adsense is a popular choice, other platforms like Adthrive, Mediavine, and Ezoic often offer higher revenue shares. However, these platforms may have specific requirements, such as minimum traffic thresholds, to qualify as a publisher.

Contrary to the common belief that ads reduce affiliate commissions, tests have shown that display ads do not significantly impact affiliate revenue. Therefore, consider adding ads to your site to increase your overall income. At this stage, it is advisable to create more informational content to attract additional traffic, even if it doesn’t convert into affiliate commissions.

Stage 3: Selling Your Own Products

Once your blog has gained a substantial email list and organic traffic, you can leverage these assets to sell your own products. By whitelabeling physical products or creating digital products like eBooks and online courses, you can increase your revenue and reduce reliance on affiliate marketing. Selling your own products also acts as a safeguard against potential losses in organic traffic or changes in affiliate policies.

Stage 4: Sponsorships

At this stage, with a healthy niche blog and a sizeable subscriber base, you can consider incorporating sponsorships into your revenue mix. Advertisers are often eager to tap into blogs with engaged audiences, so explore opportunities for sponsored posts, emails, videos, or events. While the decision to pursue sponsorships is entirely up to you, it has the potential to make a significant impact on your revenue.

Stage 5: Selling Your Site

Selling your blog may not be everyone’s goal, as many bloggers prefer to continue collecting monthly revenue. However, selling your site can lead to a substantial payday and a life-changing amount of money. If you decide to sell, the best time to do so is when your blog has experienced 12-24 months of consistent growth, with metrics trending upwards.

There are three main ways to sell your site: using a broker like Empire Flippers or FE International, utilizing a marketplace site like Flippa, or brokering your own deal through online communities or cold outreach. Each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, such as convenience or higher commission fees.


In conclusion, making money through blogging requires a systematic approach to monetization. By following the 5-stage process of affiliate marketing, displaying ads, selling your own products, incorporating sponsorships, and potentially selling your site, you can maximize your income and create a sustainable blogging business. Keep in mind that consistent traffic is the key to success, so prioritize search engine optimization and build an engaged email list from the beginning. Remember, laziness, disinterest, and luck are not the ingredients for success; instead, follow a strategic plan to achieve your financial goals through blogging.

Leave a comment