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With the numerous sketchy earn-from-home advertisements circulating the internet, it is only right to be courteous about what you invest your time in. Still, unlike them, blogging is a very lucrative venture if done right.
The blog is still one of the most profitable ways to work from home, independently managing our themes and spaces. And if the work is done flawlessly, the earnings are basically unlimited. The great thing about blogging is that it is low cost, and anybody can do it with the right strategy.
But how do you make money with a blog? What are the most effective techniques? And how much do you earn? This article will discuss all these aspects and more.
So make yourself comfortable, and let us guide you on this journey to discover how you can monetize your blog or website.
How to Make Money with a Blog
Unlike a few years ago, when making money from blogging wasn’t an easy feat, nowadays, many people have made blogging their full-time profession. Regardless of the type of project you want to develop and the niche you want to target while blogging, there are multiple ways you can monetize your blog.
Some bloggers make money through affiliate marketing, advert placements, and social media content, while others focus on physical or digital product sales, consultancy, and freelance services.
Before we discuss how you can start a profitable blog, let’s look at some examples of bloggers that have successfully made money with their blogs.
- Adam Enfroy – He started his marketing blog adamenfroy.com in 2019 and currently makes over $200,000 monthly from his blog.
- Ryan Robinson –He makes over $30,000 from his blog ryrob.com via multiple sources like affiliate marketing, consulting, and online course sales.
- Luca Tagliaferro – He is an SEO consultant that earns passive income from his blog, lucatafliaferro.com, via affiliate marketing and consultancy.
These are just a few examples from the thousands of people that make money blogging. Now, let’s get started.
What You Need to Get Started
Before you start monetizing your blog… you must have a blog.
If you haven’t done it yet, then I suggest you read my guide on how to create a blog, in which I will explain step by step how to start a blog from scratch, even if you have never done it before and have no technical knowledge. Besides, it is one thing to start a blog and another thing to have a profitable blog.
The amount of money you can make from your blog depends on factors like the niche you pick, your audience, blog traffic, marketing techniques, and others. If you want your blog to be profitable, you must take note of the steps highlighted below.
1. Choose a Money-making Niche
You want your blog to make you money, whether active or passive income – that’s a given. Contrary to the advice saturated on the internet, choosing a niche based on your passion may not be the best way to go. Some experts advise beginners to choose niches with less competition, but if you do it, you are at risk of choosing a niche with little to no market demand to scale traffic – meaning you won’t be able to make money.
You must choose a niche that is lucrative from the get-go. How you may ask? When choosing a niche for your blog, you should consider the market demand, audience monetization potential, and professional influence.
- Market Demand
If there is demand for a particular niche, the probability of users flocking to your blog is relatively high. However, you need to carry out research to find out which niche is profitable. You also need to consider which blog formats and keywords have the highest revenue potential by using tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Google Keyword Planner. This way, you can ensure that your blog will be profitable as you go on.
- Audience Monetization Potential
The next factor you need to consider while choosing a niche is the monetization potential of your audience. As a blogger, you need to understand the pain points of your audience in order to address it. But how much money are they willing to spend? Is the audience you are targeting a profitable one? Answering these questions will help you in your decision-making.
Instead of your blog being wholly centred on individuals, you can make your blog business oriented to help increase the income potential of your blog. Unlike businesses, people are generally more cautious about where they spend their money. Plus, you earn more money through affiliate marketing targeted at businesses rather than those targeted at individuals.
- Professional Influence
Having experience in the niche you choose will give you an advantage over your competition. You need to figure out if you can leverage your experience to make your blog profitable, and a significant way you can do this is by developing your influence. You can also take advantage of your professional network to create content about your chosen niche.
Finding backlinking and guest posting openings is another way to build your impact. Besides, most bloggers that have built authority from being knowledgeable in their chosen niche will have more influence on their readers, which can convert into profit in the long run.
- Niche Monetization Capability
You need to consider the money-making opportunities available for the niche(s) you want to choose. Are there lucrative affiliate programs in that niche? Do companies pay bloggers to review their products? Answering these questions will enable you to know whether the niche is a profitable one or not.
There are different types of niches in the blogging industry, but here are the most common profitable ones:
2. Create a Business Strategy
You need to think of your blog as a business and yourself as a business owner rather than a blogger, and we all know that every business needs a business strategy. You must develop a strategy that will ensure your blog is consistent and stands the test of time. Some experts believe that your blog must fulfil a certain market need, as this is what keeps the audience coming back.
You can do this by offering a high-priced service that will scale down as traffic to your site increases. The quality of your blog posts is also very important, and it might be pretty tiring handling the writing and the business management. This can lead to burnout in a short time.
Rather than writing all your blog content, you can outsource to an experienced writer to ensure that the quality of your posts stays high. There are different platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer where you can find ghostwriters. Additionally, you need to set a budget for your business as you may need to employ ghostwriters, digital marketing experts, and SEO professionals or invest in tools to increase your blog’s earning potential.
3. Scale Your Content Strategy
As mentioned before, the content you create is very critical to the overall success of your blog. You should also note that your content strategy is as essential, if not more, as the content creation itself. A lot of planning and research is involved in developing high-quality articles that will increase your chances of earning. Besides, consistency while not conceding on quality is also very crucial.
To enable you to scale your content and increase your earning potential, you need to choose suitable topics, distribute workload, carry out outreaches, post consistently, and build links.
- Choose Appropriate Topics
The topics you choose must do two significant things; address the pain points of your target audience while offering practical solutions and target keywords with high search volumes. If your blog post addresses the search queries of your audience, your site traffic and your search ranking will increase.
- Stay Consistent
Another aspect of your content strategy that is essential to growing your audience and your influence is consistency. You need to develop a content calendar to ensure you remain consistent with publishing your articles.
- Guest Posting
Your relationship with other bloggers is a critical aspect of your content strategy. You need to reach out to the bloggers or publications that you want to guest post on their blog while considering domain authority and monthly site visitors in your choice. This is important as guest posting will help with link building while increasing your site traffic, ranking, and domain authority.
You can allow other bloggers to publish articles on your site. This will help with link building for the blogger and publicity for you – especially if the blogger is an expert in the field. Opening your blog up also helps with fostering relationships in the industry.
4. Add B2B Elements to Your Strategy
We discussed earlier bout how you have to target other businesses while developing your blog monetizing strategies as businesses are more likely to spend money than individuals. Regardless of whether you plan to work with affiliate marketing platforms or write promoted content, adding a business-to-business component will make all the difference.
You will also make more money by targeting businesses with your social media ads, affiliate links, and product reviews. Businesses are also more likely to buy banner space on your site. Additionally, because you are a business, you need to have a price list for the services you offer and be able to negotiate with other businesses.
5. Increase Organic traffic
While paid traffic is essential, the success of your blog will rely majorly on how much organic traffic it gets. This is because organic traffic proves that your audience likes the content you put out. If the organic traffic that your blog gets is minimal, you need to work on ways to increase it. Highlighted below are some ways you can increase organic traffic to your site.
- Keyword Research
One major way you can do this is by keyword research, as this would let you know the keywords your prospective audience is inputting into search engines. You can use different tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Google Keyword Planner. This way, you can include the ranked words and phrases in your blog post, thereby increasing organic traffic.
- Understand Search Intent
Another way you can increase organic traffic is by understanding the search intent of users. Search engines like Google use relevancy to rank web content, and understanding what users are searching for will enable you to tailor your content towards that.
- Link Building
As mentioned before, guest blogging is an excellent way to build your link and get your name out there. It also helps to increase the traffic to your site as more people will find you through the blogs or sites where you write guest posts on.
- Competitive Analysis
Competitive analysis is an effective way of increasing your organic traffic – it is almost like a cheat sheet as you can see what is working for your competitors. By copying and improving on what the competitors in your niche are doing, you can increase the traffic to your site and improve your search ranking.
Just as there are different ways to improve traffic, multiple traffic sources like social media platforms and search engines exist. You can get your blog traffic via your Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts.
6. Create Your Email List
Email marketing is a vital element needed to drive traffic to your blog and increase your earning potential, and you need to look for ways to build your email subscriber list from the get-go.
One proven method you can use to do it is by creating a newsletter that will ensure people troop to your blog to read more. This way, you can increase your money-making potential because you can use emails to promote affiliate products as well as your products and services. However, it isn’t an easy feat to get people to subscribe to your email lists, but there are several ways you can do this.
- Develop Lead Magnets
It’s human nature to want free things, and they will more likely signup for your email list if you offer them something free of charge. These are commonly referred to as freebies, and they are enticements that you offer readers in exchange for a subscription. Some things you can offer include a coupon code for your store, free consultation, or a complimentary e-book.
- Use Pop-ups
Pop-ups are an excellent way to get readers to subscribe to your email lists. However, many people find them spammy, so it is advised to use them sparingly. You should also include an incentive, as previously mentioned, to encourage users to put in their emails rather than closing the pop-up box.
- Email marketing tools
There are different email marketing tools that you can use to build your email lists, like MailChimp or ConvertKit. You can also use tools for different types of opt-in forms like sidebar opt-ins, popups, and embedded forms. These tools will enable you to generate more email subscribers while ensuring the best email marketing practices.
7. Develop a Social Media Strategy
Social media marketing is an integral part of getting your blog the exposure needed to increase your money-making potential. You can decide to create social media accounts on different platforms dedicated to your blog to enable your readers to connect more with you. Since your blog is a business, making business dedicated accounts will enable both prospective readers and clients to take you more seriously.
You can use your blog content to build your following on these social media platforms. For example, you can add featured infographics from your articles that will link to your site. You can also repurpose your blog content as TikTok or YouTube videos or even podcasts. Plus, you must ensure you include the link to increase the traffic to your site.
Social media strategies are different than blog content strategies, so you must ensure you understand the dos and don’ts of the various platforms. For Twitter, consistent use of hashtags may get you shadowbanned, while for Instagram, they are accepted practices. Besides, keyword research and placement are also critical on social media platforms.
8. Build Your Community and Reputation
You must establish yourself as an authority in your chosen field; this way, more people will be willing to buy whatever you are selling, whether affiliate products or your services.
Just as guest blogging helps link building, it also helps you expand your online presence and build your reputation. You can pitch your guest post ideas to bloggers in the same niche as you, or you can reach out to major publications that accept guest posts. The more guest posts you write, the more your reputation in your niche as an authority increases.
Another central element of building your reputation is having a community around your brand, as this ensures your growth and profitability. Having a community involves tailoring your blog posts to provide solutions to your audience’s pain points and regularly interacting with them.
You can create exclusive VIP lists or Facebook groups to share your knowledge outside your articles. This way, the audience will view you as the real deal, and your reputation as an expert will increase. Plus, this would eventually lead to profit as your audience will be willing to buy what you sell.
9. SEO Optimization
Optimizing your blog for SEO will enable you to increase your site authority, site traffic, search ranking, lead generation, and visibility. We have looked at some SEO methods like keyword research, search intent, and link building that can help your blog rank higher on search engines, but there are other elements involved. Some of these other ways you can optimize your blog include:
- Select SEO-optimized blog formats
Search engines like Google and Bing prioritize comprehensive content, so listicles, infographics, and detailed guides rank higher. However, the content you write is more important than the blog format, as if you write on stale topics, you will most likely not rank high. Writing on evergreen topics is a good way to ensure your site keeps ranking on search engines.
- Structure your blog post
Content structuring is very important for search engine optimization. You have to ensure that both readers and the search engine can understand your content. This means that your blog posts have to include a title, headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and SEO descriptions, as this is the only way search engines can know whether your post is valuable or not.
- Optimize Images
You must optimize the images on your blog posts for search engines by adding alt texts. Alt texts are the only way search engines can understand your content and index it appropriately. They also enable users to discover your images and your site when they do image searches, thereby increasing your website traffic and ranking.
- Internal Linking
Ensure that you link your blog posts to your other article, as this will enable site visitors to browse your site while visiting different pages freely. Also, this will reduce your bounce rate, which will invariably help your search engine ranking.
- Ensure the blog is mobile friendly
Because users can access your site from different devices, you need to ensure that it is optimized for all devices to reduce your bounce rate. Also, mobile-optimized blogs will increase your chances of ranking high on search engines. You need to ensure that your design is also mobile-friendly, ensuring that the user experience stays high at all times.
In addition to earning money by writing articles, there are other methods through which we can monetize a blog.
But before we go into detail, there is one major step you need to take: planning the monetization timeline of your blog.
This involves having a strategy on how you want your blog to generate revenue. Ask yourself how your blog will bring money in the first and subsequent years. This question is crucial because you cannot just pack affiliate links in your first month and expect anybody to take you seriously. Let’s take a look at the different monetization methods you can adopt, shall we?
10. Affiliation Programs
One of the most used methods to make money with a blog is undoubtedly the world of affiliations, a very effective method that I use in all my projects. You can check my list of 40+ affiliate programs to get you started.
But how do affiliations work?
Very simple: let’s say that you have tried a product that you particularly liked and that you want to recommend to your readers.
In this case, just sign up for the company’s affiliate program, which will give you a personalized link, called an affiliate link or affiliate link. The company pays you a commission when someone buys the product through your link.
Generating revenue through affiliations is quite simple, but I would like to give you a tip: never promote products that you haven’t personally tested and that you don’t really love.
This is because if your readers feel “screwed,” they will never come back to your blog. And your goal should never be immediate gain but long-term gain.
But what are the best affiliate programs? There are lots of them based on the niche you are targeting.
For example, you can start by subscribing to the major affiliate portals where you can choose the individual products to promote, such as:
- Amazon Associates, Amazon’s product affiliate program
- Fiverr Affiliates
- Commission Junction
An alternative is to contact individual companies to ask if they have an active affiliate program. Many of these affiliations can be found by searching on Google for “[company name] + affiliate program“.
If you want to learn how to become an affiliate, read my detailed step-by-step process.
11. Sell online courses
If you are particularly good at something, creating an online course is undoubtedly one of the most profitable ways to make money with a blog.
There are endless ideas for creating an online course: you can create a fitness, guitar, programming, cooking, foreign language course… Think about what you do best and what you could teach others.
Then just shoot a series of short instructional videos that teach your readers how to do what you do best.
Show your successes, your results, and also teach them how to achieve them, starting from your experience. I assure you that people will be happy to pay to learn from your experience and learn something new.
Creating an online course is easier done than said.
First, you just need to choose an e-learning platform to upload and sell your course. There are lots of interesting ones. My favourites are without a doubt:
- Udemy (which I personally use for my own training)
- Kajabi, probably one of the most used platforms by digital marketers
Then you will need the basic equipment to be used to make the videos:
- A good digital camera. I use a good cell phone, it might be enough at first
- A good microphone. I use a Samson Meteor which at the time was recommended to me by an engineer and has an excellent quality/price ratio. I have to admit it was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made
- A light ring, which will illuminate your figure by eliminating all ugly shadows. It is also great for making videos.
That’s all! To get started, you don’t need anything else.
12. Sell physical products
If you already have an offline sales business, taking it online and selling your products through e-commerce is undoubtedly a solution that allows you to expand your business significantly.
I know what you are thinking right now:
“Luca, I don’t want to have a warehouse and spend all day sending packages! I want to be a blogger, not a warehouse worker! “
And you are right! But what if we don’t have physical products to sell? Nothing could be simpler: dropshipping!
I’ll explain how it works.
Through drop shipping, you will not have to personally take care of the products because your role will be of mediation between the supplier and the end customer. So you don’t need a warehouse.
Let’s say customer X comes to your blog. He reads an interesting cooking article you wrote and decides to buy a pan. He goes to your e-commerce, chooses the product, pays, and sends the order. What happens now?
It happens that you forward the order to a supplier, who will take care of the shipment of the goods, any return, and so on. You will then be the one to pay the supplier, keeping part of the proceeds from you.
So if you have a blog, it can be helpful to monetize it through dropshipping e-commerce so that you don’t have to have the physical, bureaucratic and economic burdens of a physical warehouse.
To create e-commerce, the most used platforms are:
- WooCommerce, my favourite and easiest to use
13. Selling your services
If you are a professional, then you can think of developing your blog in such a way as to naturally attract new customers, to whom you can offer your services.
That’s what I do in this blog too. As you can see in the top menu, I have a dedicated page where I offer SEO services. Through that page, I get about 15/20 requests for quotes every week.
My SEO services include:
- SEO Setup
- High-quality SEO Audit
- SEO Keywords research and gap
- SEO On-Page Optimisation
- Content Marketing
- Monthly reporting and support
Blogging is indeed a very effective way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. This is why I always recommend creating a blog, especially on professional websites.
14. Selling consultancy
Another very effective way to earn money through a blog is to sell your advice. You can offer consultations yourself or create a network of professionals who offer consultations through your blog.
I’ll give you an example.
On one of my pages, I have created a page where I offer advice. Since I cannot do them all myself – and I am not even competent in many topics -, I contacted some professionals such as PR Professionals, Data Analysts, Conversion Rate Experts, and Accountants who can carry out these consultations.
Every time one of these professionals gets a job, they give me a commission. Among the methods for making money with a blog that we have seen so far, therefore, the method of selling consultancy can be halfway between selling services and affiliations.
15. Banner ads
Many bloggers plan to start earning money with their online project by placing banner ads here and there. Every single time, however, they are very disappointed. And I’ll also explain why.
Banner ads are one of the simplest and most accessible monetization methods for any blogger. For this, the payments are very low. To be able to raise only a few hundred dollars with banner ads, you must therefore have traffic of tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of visitors to your blog.
Personally, I don’t advise you to put banner ads if you don’t have a site that has several thousand readers per month, and in any case, I always advise against putting them if you have a professional personal branding blog, like this one you are reading.
In addition, your competitors may appear on your banners, leading your readers to their channels.
Not good! ??
- Writing a book or an e-book
If you have a good idea for a book, why not write it?
Selling an e-book is in fact one of the most effective ways to make money with a blog. The reason is simple: after the book has been written, you will not have to incur any expenses, and the payment for each sale you generate will arrive directly in your bank account.
No publisher, no intermediary. The money will remain 100% in your pocket, thus maintaining maximum profit. Just sponsor your e-book on your blog, and that’s it.
If, on the other hand, you want to increase the visibility of your e-book and perhaps turn it into a paper book, the simplest and cheapest way is Amazon Self Publishing.
I also opted for this option with a book I published on Amazon.
Even now that I am thinking of writing more books and e-books, I will definitely consider Amazon Self Publishing again.
But is it advantageous to publish a book on Amazon? In my experience, there are pros and cons.
- Once you have written the book, just upload it to the platform, and it will be published on Amazon in a few hours
- Advertising costs are at the expense of Amazon
- You can get hard copies (perhaps for friends or for promotion) at a discounted price
- Amazon’s fees are relatively low (certainly lower than any publisher)
- You can sell it with your affiliate link and earn a double commission
- With one click, you can sell your book all over the world.
- If you don’t advertise your book on your channels as well, it will hardly be found by users among the thousands of other Amazon books
- Loading the book in the right format is not easy (I wasted a day just making changes)
- You will have to pay Amazon a commission for each sale, which is quite high in the case of paper books
16. Paid guest blogging
Once your blog has reached a good number of monthly readers, indicatively above 5 / 10,000 per month, you can offer the possibility to publish guest posts on your blog and charge money for them.
If your site has good traffic and a good Domain Authority, many bloggers in your niche will enjoy writing content for your blog in exchange for a link.
Here, to do this, you can ask them for a payment that can vary from a few dollars to several hundred based on your monthly traffic and your domain authority.
This is also one of the methods I use to make money online with my blogs.
17. Paid webinars
Another solution that creators and marketers increasingly use to make money with their websites is to create paid webinars.
But what is a webinar?
The word webinar is a contraction of two words: web and seminar, ie online seminar. A webinar is, therefore, an online event that takes place in a sort of virtual classroom. There is one person – or more people – who speak, others who listen and can intervene by asking questions.
There are many digital platforms to create a webinar, such as:
18. Forge partnerships
The last method I want to introduce to you to start making money with your blog is that of partnerships and influence marketing.
Once you have created a blog and launched it on the market, the first partnerships will slowly begin. For example, I collaborate with other bloggers and SEO experts on other projects we are carrying out and with journalists and influencers, with whom we have created a real network.
Unfortunately, finding partners is not easy because we don’t always manage to find people who share our passions, our ambitions or our goals.
But when you can find them, working together is incredible. Also, because when you work as a freelance, after the initial enthusiasm of working from home in smart working or remote working, perhaps in pyjamas, we soon realize that if we do not weave a close network of social contacts, it is easy to find ourselves a little isolated from the world.
And let’s face it: working together is much more satisfying than working alone. And it also brings better results.
Before looking for business partners or influencers to forge purely business collaborations, build a solid, genuine, and authentic relationship with them. These are the best collaborations you can find!
19. Podcast Sponsorship
Another type of monetization that I have personally never used but have followed the development of the strategy by some of my clients is podcasts.
But how do you make money with a podcast? Very simple.
If you already follow podcasts, you will have noticed that very often a product or service is presented at the beginning. That is real sponsored content, meaning company X paid podcaster Y to mention his product or service in their podcast.
Again, to earn from a podcast, it is essential to have a good number of listeners.
If you want to create a podcast, the most used tools are:
20. Sponsored Blog Posts
Sponsored posts are similar to affiliate marketing, but the major difference is that no affiliate link determines how much you’ll earn.
Many businesses in different niches need to show their consumers that their products are the real deal so they usually pay bloggers to write product reviews. This is a very popular way of making money from your blog. However, it isn’t as easy as it seems.
You need to have high metrics to be able to work with these businesses, as they need to know that your post will bring in new customers. Some metrics include traffic, engagements, domain rating, and domain authority.
If you have these metrics, you can reach out to brands of your choice and ask if they are interested in paying for a product review on your blog. It is best to recommend products you believe in to retain your readers’ trust. You also need to signify that it’s a sponsored post so you remain entirely transparent with your readers.
Social media is a good tool you can utilize for sponsored posts and ads. Additionally, you should be picky with the brands you work with because you need to protect your reputation.
21. Exclusive Membership/ Subscriptions
Exclusive membership is a good way of making a steady income, and it requires you to provide your readers with a VIP experience for a small fee. As stated earlier, communities are essential to the success of your blog, as users want to feel connected to you and other like-minded people.
You can offer your members different exclusive content, like free courses, books, and limited offers. You can also interact with them and answer any questions they have. This way, the members feel like they are getting value for their money, and your reputation as an authority figure will increase.
Slack is an excellent platform to create your community, and you can offer users monthly or yearly payments – ensuring you have a steady cash flow. Besides, this monetization method will not provide you with millions of dollars, but it is a sure way to create passive income while you are offering value to your members.
How much can you earn with a blog?
The statistics on blogging speak for themselves: blogs are increasingly used in any marketing strategy. Many create blogs as real full-time businesses or to have an additional income – just as we mentioned in the previous section. In this case, we speak from a business side.
But how much do you really earn with a blog?
There is no universal answer. Some do not earn anything (mostly because they do not know how to monetize their blog), while others earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.
Personally, I run blogs for clients that earn over 150,000 GBP a week selling physical or digital products. On the other hand, my personal blogs come to invoice a few thousand dollars per month (let’s say between 2,000 and 5,000 USD on average).
These are some of my affiliate earnings:
For example, this above is the revenue from the sales of a cloud storage software in the last 5 months, to which we must then add the other forms of monetization that I use and that I will explain in detail later.
I admit that they have not been very high compared to other blogs, but it is also true that at the moment, I spend most of my time developing my clients’ SEO and blogs.
However, my blogs generate passive earnings that arrive on time every month.
Making Money Blogging: Final Thoughts
As we have seen in this guide, there are many methods to monetize your blog, and you can choose the best ones for the type of business you want to achieve.
Before saying goodbye, however, I would like to give you some vital advice.
The fact that there are so many monetization methods does not mean that making money with a blog is extremely simple, especially when trying to make your space in the web market.
To be able to monetize, there are three things you must always, always, always keep in mind:
- You have to offer value to your readers. You can’t expect people to put their hands on their wallets if you don’t have something of true value to offer
- You have to work on SEO. If people can’t find you on the web, no one will ever buy from you
- You have to be able to differentiate yourself. In a world where competitors are increasingly numerous and users more and more distracted, differentiation is truly the basis of any successful business, including online.
- In this regard, if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend the book “Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer” a book by Jack Trout that taught me how to differentiate myself from the competition and find my own communication line.
And as always, if you have any other questions, considerations or suggestions for monetizing a blog, feel free to leave a comment below. I can’t wait to read it.