How to Monetize Your Blog with Ads and Affiliate Marketing
You’ve set up your blog and published a few posts. But how do you monetize your blog and start getting paid?
In this post, I’ll go over important blogging vocabulary as well as a few more things you’ll need to include in your blog.
Then onto something very exciting… how to make monetize your blog with ads and affiliate marketing!
This post may contain affiliate links, read our full disclosure here.
By the way, if you’re still on the fence about starting a blog, there’s no better time to start than NOW. Get started web hosting with SiteGround for the price of a cup of coffee a month and read my guide on How to Start a Blog and Make Money (as a New Blogger).
Blogging is an awesome side hustle that could grow into your full-time job.
Blogging vocab clarity and basic things you’ll need to set up:
Pages vs posts
Posts are your blog’s content. It’s regularly updated.
Your About page is where your readers can learn more about you and your blog. You can write about what motivated you to create your blog and what kind of content your readers can expect to see. You don’t have to make it very long, but definitely let your readers catch a glimpse of your personality.
Categories determine how your topics are sorted. If your blog’s niche is pets, you might have a parent category with the name Pet Care with children categories, Common Pets and Exotic Pets. How you decide to categorize is entirely up to you, but make it so your readers will have an easy time finding everything. Your categories will make up the bulk of your menu, which I’ll get to later.
Widgets are gadgets that help run functions on your blog. It’s where you’ll be inputting a lot of code if you’re not technologically savvy (like me).
On my blog, I have a Twitter widget that displays my latest Tweets, a search box, category list, archive, and custom html widgets where I store all my ad codes.
Storing your code in a custom html widget will present it everywhere on your site, just what codes need!
Your categories can be placed into a menu, usually found near the top of your blog.
Creating a drop-down menu can be confusing, but it’s actually quite easy once you know how to do it. Here’s how you can create a drop-down menu:
1. To create a drop-down menu, you first need to decide on the title. If we stick to our example about pets, the title of one of our menus might be Pet Care.
Select the Pet Care category and add it to your menu. It should be listed in the leftmost position.
2. Select and add Common Pets and Exotic Pets to the menu. They should appear in the leftmost position, below Pet Care.
3. To create a drop-down menu under Pet Care containing Common Pets and Exotic Pets, drag those categories and place them further right under Pet Care. They should ‘snap’ into position.
4. If you want to create a drop-down menu for Common Pets or Exotic Pets, do the same and drag that category further right of those two.
*Remember to include your pages in your menu!
The editor houses the code to your blog’s theme.
A lot of the time, you’ll need to input code into the editor. This can be for ad placement or to change a function on your blog. Don’t place code directly into the editor unless you know what you’re doing since it can mess with how your theme functions. Instead, place the code into a custom html widget.
If you can locate and place codes into the editor, place the code at the end of the designated text to ensure you can find it later in case you need to delete it or make any changes.
Plugins help your blog run functions, such as managing SEO, removing RSS feed, including a recipe box, and many others.
If you’ve written a posts, you’ll notice below the title of your post, there’s a permalink. The permalink is the url for that specific post.
If you change your post’s title and its permalink after submitting the post, you need to create a redirect to the new url. A redirect will direct viewers from your old url to your new url. The easiest way to create a redirect is with a plugin. However, I highly recommend NOT altering a permalink after you’ve submitted a post.
*Make sure to set your permalinks setting to ‘Post Name’ in Settings>Permalinks.
How to monetize your blog with ads
As I’ve mentioned in my guide on How to Start a Blog and Make Money (as a New Blogger), unless your blog drives an insane amount of traffic, ads are the worst way to make money blogging.
But ads are an incredibly passive way to make money blogging so we can’t leave it out!
How to set up ads with Google Adsense
1. Follow the steps to set up your blog with Adsense.
2. Copy and paste the code you’re given into a custom html widget (Appearance>Widgets)
3. Let Google determine the best ad placements for your site. This way you won’t have to worry about inputting a bunch of code everywhere on your blog and where to place ads for the best optimization.
How to set up ads with Sovrn
1. To install Sovrn ads on your blog, you first need to create an ad tag. To do that, click on Ad Tags on the left menu bar and then Create Ad Tag.
2. Create a name for your ad tag. It can be something as simple as the ad size and ad type. For example, you can name it “320×250 Display Banner.”
*320×250 is the most optimal ad size, so you want to use this one!
Another good ad size to add some variability throughout your posts is the 468×60 banner.
3. Set the CPM floor price to $0.00. The CPM price is the minimum bid for advertisers for an ad space. You can raise your floor price once your blog has more traffic.
The reason why you don’t want to set a floor price as a new blogger is because your ad space has low viewership. Advertisers don’t want to pay a high price for an ad that won’t be seen, which means your ad space won’t be filled and you won’t get paid for the empty ad space.
4. Also make sure you check the box that says “Maximize fill for non-US traffic by ignoring floor.”
5. Click save. Congrats, you’ve made your first ad tag! But you’re not done yet.
6. Click install and copy the code. You want to place the code wherever you want it to display within your post. Make sure you switch to the text tab (you usually type your posts in visual) before posting your ad tag code.
Leave 3-4 lengthy paragraphs of text between each ad tag. You don’t want to spam your readers with a bunch of ads. That’s not good blogging strategy AT ALL.
And that’s it! That’s all you need to do to start earning money with ads. But ads aren’t going to be your blog’s main source of income, it’s affiliate marketing!
How to monetize your blog with affiliate marketing
With affiliate marketing, bloggers earn a commission off the sale of products that they promote on their site at no additional cost to their readers.
Affiliate marketing is how many bloggers earn a large percentage of their blogging income. It’s great for new bloggers because you don’t have to worry about creating a product or service.
*Aim for 7-10 quality posts before you apply to an affiliate program.
Affiliate programs I recommend:
- Amazon Affiliates
- FlexOffers – An affiliate marketing network that work with big brand stores, such as Sephora, Pampers, and more
How to ace affiliate marketing
One way to promote affiliate products is to write detailed reviews. If you had personally tried the product, write about your experiences. Take pictures and include them in your posts.
Another way to promote affiliate products is to write list posts.
Popular list posts I’ve written:
- The Minimalist Guide to Buying Baby Clothes
- 10 Baby Shower Gifts That Aren’t for the Baby
- First Father’s Day Gifts for New Dads
It’s also good practice to go back every now and then and update older posts with affiliate links.
But if you really want to excel at affiliate marketing, you got to sign up for Rosalind Gardner’s Affiliate Blogger Pro training program.
Rosalind Gardner has been hallmarked as the “Queen of Affiliate Marketing,” and she’s deserving of that title. She makes millions of dollars EVERY YEAR from affiliate marketing!
If you want to take your blog full-time ASAP, Affiliate Blogger Pro is the way to do it.
I started blogging as a total beginner. I didn’t have any prior experience, but I started making money in my second month blogging with her course. Affiliate Blogger Pro offers detailed step-by-step tutorials as well as video tutorials that SHOW you how it all works.
Blogging is inexpensive and we want to keep it that way. But you can’t run a business without investing a little in yourself. And that’s exactly what the Affiliate Blogger Pro course is. An investment in yourself.
Blogging is not easy, but it’s so worth it. Blogging takes the same amount of time as a regular job, if not less, but I’m making money doing what I love. I love writing about all things pregnancy as well as teaching others how to blog and make money at home. I love the side hustle. But most importantly, I love having the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. That has been the most rewarding part about blogging.
And as always, if you have any questions about blogging, let me know below! I’d love to help. I’m thinking about offering blog audits for anyone struggling with traffic or those having difficulty getting their blog to the next level.