6 Ways How Not To Make Money Blogging and How to Make It

Over the years I’ve learned how not to make money blogging as well as what works.

The blog, Inspire to Thrive was created because of an old retail website that started making money online. It’s not one single source but many tips and tricks from my experiences with success in the industry led me here today where we can share them together!

The biggest sale came when someone bought something off Twitter without even knowing what they were buying…just because it had “@thislovely” at its end (for those who don’t know).

Those little letters make all the difference – especially if you’re new like our readers may well be considering starting out themselves soon enough ;)!

how to not make money blogging
How to not make money blogging online and tips on how to make money blogging.

The website shut down after divorce over a decade ago. However, I do miss running a retail website.

How Not To Make Money Blogging

Bloggers who claim they never made money blogging may have made these mistakes:

  • Not being consistent with posting.
  • They did not add CTA – Call To Actions on their blogs.
  • A blogger who only blogged and never sold anything.
  • Blogs filled with ads everywhere, discouraging readers and slowing down their sites.
  • Bloggers that quit before they became successful.
  • Not using SEO to generate more targeted traffic to your blog.

What Has Worked to Make Money Blogging and Online?

Sponsored Posts

Having sponsors pay for posts that are related to your niche is a way to generate an income from your blog. Usually, you have to have a high DA authority for your site to qualify.

Of course, you don’t want to accept every blog post offered for money.

how to make money blogging
Ways to make money blogging.

The ones you accept should be relevant to your niche and something your audience would want to read. Otherwise, you could lose readership and traffic to your blog.

Of course, you don't want to accept every blog post offered for money. #sponsoredposts #blogging Click To Tweet

Affiliate Programs

Today affiliate marketing is hot, especially in the blogging industry. There are so many software programs and tools that one needs for their blog.

However, it is not easy to make a lot of money from these types of programs. One has to really market them to be successful. You will need more than 1 blog post about the tool to generate money from your blog.

I love offering affiliates on products I use and can recommend. You want to be able to answer questions about the products or services offered.

Enstine Muki is the king of affiliate programs, see his informative post on how to make money blogging with affiliate programs.

You want to be able to answer questions about the products or services offered. #affiliatemarketing Click To Tweet

Products like eBooks

There is nothing like selling your own product. eBooks are a great way to make money blogging by sharing your expertise on topics from your blog. Of course, you must promote your eBook and learn more to produce and promote it.

Many bloggers are tired after writing their eBook and fail to promote it properly. Been that and done that myself! 

There are many platforms you can offer your eBook on to make money from it. It is also a great way to get new email subscribers to your blog. Ryan Biddulph is the king of producing eBooks.

You can read how Ryan does 1 eBook per week! Not only that, but Ryan continuously promotes his eBooks everywhere! This tweet looks like it has a subliminal message for his eBooks 🙂

InfoLinks and Other Ads Programs on Blogs

The jury is still out on this one for me but I must say the dollars have increased month over month since I started with InfoLinks  The dollars were small (Just under $2 per month from pennies per month when I started) but they grew over time.

InfoLinks is another way for bloggers to make money blogging if they are willing to test and readjust their ads. It is an easy program to use. It does not take a lot of time.

Finally, I decided to end it as the ads appeared to slow down the website and disturb readers.

More Ways to Generate Income Blogging

I have been blogging since 2012 and I know that many people are making money from their blogs. Some bloggers get paid a lot more than others- it all depends on how popular your blog is, the niche of topics you cover in-depth.

For example, writing about finance might not generate as much revenue because there’s only so much information someone can give them before they start getting bored with reading through articles every day!

There isn’t just one way to succeed: sometimes going at other tasks outside blogging helps too such as proofreading or even taking photos.

Many bloggers become consultants in their niche and provide services to small businesses. By becoming a leader in your niche you can then consult or teach.

This past year I’ve earned some money blogging by teaching a course on Udemy. I have another course in the pipeline to be released soon!

teach oneline courses
Make money blogging by teaching online courses with your expertise.

However, the reason I choose Udemy is that they do marketing for your courses on their huge platform that drives tons of more traffic than most bloggers could ever dream of having.

Other bloggers choose to sell the courses on their own sites as they can generate more money per course.

Some bloggers get paid a lot more than others- it all depends on how popular your blog is, the niche of topics you cover in-depth. #blogging Click To Tweet

Marketing Your Blog

The old saying goes: You have to spend money to make money. That holds true for blogging too. Bloggers may need to invest in ads to market their websites. There are many different types of ads online today. For example:

  • Social Media Ads
  • Native Ads
  • Banner Ads on other sites
  • Content as advertorials
  • Traditional Media – especially if you are providing local services.
ads for your blog
Use ads to promote your blog products or services.

Imagine if you had a small retail business? How would you let people know that your store was open and where to find it. A simple ad in the local paper or a Facebook ad could go a long way toward drawing traffic into what’s already going great for this entrepreneur!

The same holds true with blogging, too–every post should be crafted carefully so as not only to inform but also draw readers in deeper than ever before.

A lot happens when we blog: We give out helpful tips on how best to use social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter; announce new products coming soon at our online shop, etc.

It’s important then – just as much now more than ever to keep up appearances by consistently updating followers on social media.

However organic reach has declined so much that a blogger may have to pay for social media ads to reach all of their followers today.

The same holds true with blogging, too--every post should be crafted carefully so as not only to inform but also draw readers in deeper than ever before. #blogging Click To Tweet

Your Thoughts

What ways are you using to make money blogging today? What have you been found not to make money blogging?

I’d love to know more in the comments below!

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Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Social Media, Blogging, and SEO. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others? She has 30+ years of experience in marketing/advertising with 10 years of experience in content marketing, social media, blogging, and SEO. You can purchase her eBook about Twitter on Amazon, or take her Instagram class on Udemy.

    • Hi SharlaAnn, oh yes, I can always teach what NOT to do! 🙂 But that’s how we learn the most I believe. Thanks for coming by and have a great day!

  • Hey Lisa,

    You are right about “How Not to Make Money Blogging” — so many bloggers to just “blog” instead of thinking like a business owner should.

    It’s fine if someone wants to grow an audience first…but the key is this: Monetize.

    Like you pointed out: sell eBooks, sell online courses, sell access to PDF sheets with tips and tricks (in your relevant niche), sell access to pre-recorded live streams, grow a loyal following and sell sponsorships (on blogs, on newsletters, or elsewhere).

    Putting in all the hardwork — blogging day in and out — and not monetizing it is sad. I know most of us shy away from it. Some of us also have the imposter syndrome.

    Yet, it has to be done.

    Ash

  • Hi Lisa,

    Interesting title, it gained my attention and hooked me in. And I must say your article did not let me down. I really liked the section on how not to make money. It highlights all the problems that prevent monetization and identifying them is essential to improve them. Afterward, you have mentioned the methods that do work, and it will help a lot of readers and bloggers. Kudos on curating such an interesting article. I might steal this pattern for my next projects.

    • Hi John, yes, if you don’t know the problems you can’t fix them, right? I certainly did know about those problems over the years and sometimes still struggle with them. You are most welcome and I appreciate your coming by on this one. Have a wonderful week ahead John.

  • Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for adding what not to do to make money from a blog. Majority bloggers only the way to make money and no one talks about what to avoid.

    As of my experience Sponsorship & Affiliate Marketing is of the best and fastest ways to generate some bucks from the very new blog.

    P.S. – I’m going to share this post so everyone can take its benefits.

    Thanks
    Ayush Mishra

    • Hi Ayush, welcome to Inspire To Thrive. Yes, there are many things to avoid if you want to make money via your blog. I agree on sponsorship but affiliate marketing for me has taken longer. Thanks for your input and for sharing this post. Have a great day.

  • Hi, Lisa,

    Like you, I started this blogging thing in 2012, though I lack consistency which has slowed down the blog progress over time. I must admit you have shared some helpful information on how to make money blogging and how to avoid just being another blogger.

    Making money online required lots of effort, consistency, investment, excellent marketing skills, and good products/services to sell.

    If you don’t have anything to sell, you probably won’t’ make any money.

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

    • Hi Shamsudeen, nice to see you back here. Yes, I believe consistency is so important, and yet so many people lack the patience for it. I do in the beginning did not have anything to sell so it took me years and then I had to clear to use a clear call to action in copy and promote more than I felt comfortable promoting. Thanks for your feedback and have a great day!

  • Hello Lisa, I am a new blogger that is currently figuring out how to monetize. These are some excellent facts for me. I’ve saved it to return to once I decide to monetize. Many thanks for the excellent conclusions.

    • Hi Sushma, I’m so glad to hear this blog post was helpful for you. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! I wish you the best on your new blog! Have a great day and thanks for coming by.

      • Hello Lisa,
        I’m now exploring techniques to boost my SERP ranking. Several of my keywords have been ranked, but only to around position 40. Do you have any blogs on this subject? I searched for this on your Blogs but was unable to locate it. Could you possibly assist me with this matter if you don’t mind?

  • Hey Lisa,

    I had started doing sponsor tweets a long time ago, but really didn’t get the concept of it although I was making money LOL..but I have stopped doing it. One thing that caught my interest that Enstine brought to my attention some weeks back was sponsored post. It’s a good way to make money from what i’ve seen, but the only thing that I don’t like is that it’s a one time payment. Besides that, I rather do affiliate marketing since you can get residual income with some products.

    Thanks for the share Lisa! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

    • Hi Sherman, I used to love the old version of them. I’ve done a few sponsored posts a way back and they were okay. As long as it’s something I think my readers will either need or like. I have to find the right affiliate marketing. I think eBooks and our own products are key. So far so good, great weather today on the East Coast. Rain coming in tomorrow but we need it, in a drought here. I hope yours is going well Sherman!

  • Hi Lisa,

    I know I’m late in the game here and I haven’t been here in a long while, but it’s now repaired 🙂

    Isn’t it sad that they replace tools and programs that work great by trashy stuff that don’t work? I wonder why? Are they so greedy that they’d rather get more money while taking the money away from the public?

    That’s great that you mentioned those no-nos, and save people some time.

    I think that selling your own e-books is the best way to make extra money with your blog.

    Thanks for the valuable info.

    Sylviane

    • Hi Sylviane, it’s never too late! I’m not sure or the tools just can’t catch everything like we humans can. I hope it does help other people along the way online. I think it’s at the top of the list Sylviane unless you have other products like an app, etc. You are welcome. I appreciate you coming by and taking the time to comment on this one Sylviane. I hope all is well your way!

  • Hi Lisa,

    blogging is a best way for make money online but here every bloggers need more dedication, I think affiliate marketing or Adsense both are permanent source for online earning and both need more traffic on websites..good article lisa.. I enjoy your article..

    Regards
    Mohd Arif

    • Hi Mohd, oh yes, dedication and hard work are essential to making money online today. Have you had good success with both affiliate marketing and adsense Mohd? I’d love to hear more, thanks! Appreciate you coming by and have a great day today!

  • That’s an awesome article LISA. I have read many others bloggers and after reading your article, I can conclude that one can really make money smartly by using affiliate and product reviews. I found sponsored reviews are getting very popular these days as many products are launching and companies are also putting huge money for promotion mainly via blogging.

    • Welcome to Inspire to Thrive Manidipa. Thank you. I think having your own product is probably the best way but of course not easy. Yes, I see a lot of those types of reviews as well mostly in fashion and beauty. A few in technology too, reviews of new cell phones and gadgets. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment. Have a wonderful day!

  • Hey Lisa,

    I think that’s awesome that you’ve updated your readers on what’s working and what’s not. We know that sites change, some rules change and then as you mentioned, some laws come into play. That can make it more difficult for many to still make money online today.

    Do you still have your scrubs site? I would think that would still be popular since we know those in the medical field will always need them. Was wondering how you were doing with that one.

    Thanks for this update, I really appreciate it. It’s good to know what you’ve done and what no longer works at least for you. It’s a good indication for the rest of us as well.

    Hope you continue to heal my friend and you have a wonderful day.

    ~Adrienne

    • Thanks Adrienne, I thought it would only be fair to update on those methods I posted a while back. I do not, lost that in the divorce. I also got disenchanted with the drop shipping so haven’t started another retail site like that yet. You are welcome.
      The arm is coming along, I hope to return to work sometime in June, will see what the doctor says soon. Thanks for coming by Adrienne and I hope your week gets better.

    • You are very welcome Ryan. You are the king of ebooks. Your last one inspired me to write a better upcoming post with a little story telling. Have a good day at the island.

  • Hi Lisa,

    I remember Sponsored Tweets…in fact it was your post I was reading that introduced me to them. When I joined Izea with WFH Concepts I didn’t get a lot of ads. Now that my niche has changed a bit I’m seeing more opportunities from them.

    I thought about doing drop shipping but never got around to it.

    Sponsored posts have been a 50/50 thing. The ones with a high payout rate requires 50K uvm’s and I’m not there just yet. 🙂

    What wasn’t working for me was the video ads. The network I signed up with didn’t have a lot of videos so some repeated. Not only that, it slowed down my site’s loadtime. I finally removed them last year.

    Thank you so much for the shout out! Yes there are a lot of work-from-home jobs out there for anyone who wants structure and there are plenty of freelance gigs out there. We just have to keep looking for the right ones.

    Great post Lisa! Thanks for putting this post together for us! Hope you’re having a great week so far!

    See you in the socialverse. 🙂

    Cori

    • Hi Corina, glad to hear that Izea is working for you with your niche. I thought that may have been the reason why it wasn’t for me here. I hadn’t tried video ads, they would seem a bit intrusive. I don’t think I’ll be trying those.
      You are welcome Corina, I really like what you have been doing with your site and the great info you share on working from home.
      See you back in the socialverse and I hope your week is going well, hard to believe we are getting so close to Memorial Day!

  • Hi Lisa,
    You have great blog.
    This is first time I visiting your blog but definitely not last time.
    What attracts me to you blog is title of this post.
    Generally i have seen many ways to earn money from blogging, but you have title 3 way to not make money from blogging.
    And i really wanted to see what are those 3 ways .

    Glad to be here , This post has increased my knowledge about make money from blogging.
    Affiliate marketing , info links are in now days , many newbies are taking interest in this two ways.

    Thanks for sharing this post.
    I would like to share this post .

    • Hi Pritam, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. How did you find this blog? I’m glad it increased your knowledge. Feel free to share away! Thanks for taking the time to comment on your first visit here. Have a great rest of the week!

  • Hi Lisa,

    I’m glad I never tried too many ways to make money from blogging 🙂

    In fact, we recently started off with it, and yes, ads, banners, sponsored posts and affiliates work, but we prefer using, trying, testing a product before recommending it to our readers, just don’t feel good about writing anything for the sake of money. For us, freelancing has always worked, but with the time we spend on blogging now, it makes sense to start from it too. Vinay recently started his blog services, though just starting off with enhancing the speed of the blog, as we did ours, and it worked, if you remember the Google Mobile post he wrote. So, that would another thing we’re starting off with now.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Hi Harleena, oh yes I would agree testing a product first is key. That’s why I don’t have an ad banner on the sidebar yet. It has to be something I really like and have used before placing there. Yes, I do remember that one – that was such a thorough post on how to make your site mobile friendly. That is definately a way to make money blogging as your blog would be your own portfolio. Thanks for taking the time to come by Harleena and I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

  • Hi Lisa,

    I actually haven’t found many ways to work. I have been paid in the past to add links to my blog (I stopped a few years ago), and I have received money from promoting tools and businesses. But, I haven’t been earning much, and I haven’t tried that hard either to be honest.

    The one thing I have been thinking a lot about is to create my own product and sell it via my blog. I believe that would be the thing that would work the best.

    • Hi Jens, I hope you used no follow links on those. I just recovered from a Google penalty from that (more on that to come soon!) If you haven’t tried much then yes that is probably why. I haven’t tried enough to promote my eBook and when I do another I will find more ways to go about that one. I think having one’s own product is the best way to make money online. I wish I knew how to develop an app. Maybe that will go on my bucket list. Thanks for coming by Jens and I’d love to know what type of product you would sell. Have a great day.

  • Hi Lisa,

    After loads of testing, I find the best way I’m making money online is selling my own products and affiliates. I do have some great connections for solo ads and they are working fine … so far so good.

    Also, Facebook Ads is growing stronger as I fine tune my target market. The ROI has improved just in 3 months. (takes me a while to catch on lol) But by split testing, I am learning every day how to use certain words to not only get a click, but a buyer.

    I do have a new niche site that is gaining traction. It is only less than 2 months old, but people are starting to opt in and purchase. So that’s pretty good news for me.

    Does this all stem from my blog? Sure it does. I find that the more I blog, the more people see my name around. I get responses from people I don’t know that have said “I heard about you…you’re the blogger” Or better yet, I’ve opted into your offer on your blog……After they are on my email list, eventually they do pick up a thing or two.

    So buyers are coming in from many directions. But the one thing they all tell me is that they went to my blog before they purchased a product from me. Guess the social proof speaks for itself.

    -Donna

    • Hi Donna, yes I believe selling your own product is the best way. I should work on more eBooks myself here 🙂 Now Facebook ads, you are buying them not selling correct? What type of niche is your new one Donna? Yes blogging can certainly give you credibility and be used as a resume or a portfolio. I’m glad to hear they did go to your blog first as it must make you feel good that your efforts are paying off. That’s a great feeling. Thank you for taking the time to come by Donna and share what’s working for you. Have a great day!

  • Hi Lisa,

    Two bucks per month from InfoLinks? Not very unexpected to me – see also my previous comments on this topic (on your blog).

    To respond to your questions… On my niche blog (not the one from the sig line) I sell my solo ads ebooks. On the other blogs, affiliate marketing. What I’m convinced that it won’t work on my blogs is AdSense (InfoLinks, etc). There’s no way it can work. And by working I don’t understand 2, 10 or 50 bucks per month.

    Any monetization model needs some conditions to be fulfilled. In vain you copy the model from another (successful) site that is different from yours. And by “different” I don’t refer to the content, but to the amount of traffic, the quality of traffic, the demographics, the topic (the niche) and other factors.

    Example: AdSense works great on a site like ezinearticles.com that has tons of traffic. On top of that, Chris (the owner) doesn’t care about the fact that the visitors leave the site (by clicking AdSense links) – the content isn’t his content. If you copy that model on a blog that has way less traffic than EZA, then of course that you’ll get a different result. Not a lot of traffic multiplied by peanuts per click = peanuts 😉

    • Hi Adrian, I’m hoping it keeps on doubling so I’m not giving up on them yet. Peanuts can grow right? I should set a time limit though on how long I will wait. But I understand what you mean by the type of site. That is why the sponsored tweets no longer work, most of the offers are for fashion or beauty type bloggers who tweet about that stuff. Like you say I’d be better off making another eBook to sell. I know selling your own product is the best way to make money online. It just has to fill your users needs. Thanks for your input on this one Adrian.

  • Hi Lisa,

    Great post you have herein, i have been tutored by this post and by the comment from Enstine Muki.

    • Thank you Emebu. I hope you have learned a few things from it and I’d love to know what methods have been working for you as well. Or which methods haven’t worked.

  • Wow Lisa,
    When I saw this title on broaded, I had to rush here even before going back to approve the post. I love anything that has to do with making money online.

    Your point on Sponsored Posts is spot on. That’s what I struggle to tell my fellow bloggers. The worst experience I have had are with companies paying very little. They insist on dofollow and some are adamant. They refuse to reason and I think I won’t risk my blog for a few dollars.

    I have come across some advertisers who deal wickedly. They insist they want to see the post on before making payment. Once you publish it, they tell you the links must be dofollow before payments can be done. So in return, I always ask for payment before even start writing

    Hunters have learned to shot without missing! Birds too have learned to fly without landing!

    Thanks for the shout out in this post. I love that I was able to share my practical experience with my readers

    NB: My next platform is about helping bloggers get more sponsored posts. I’m excited with the feedback I get from both advertisers and bloggers.

    I’m doing some final touches. However, I’d like to have you on right this moment 😉

    • Hi Enstine, LOL, I know and you are very GOOD at it (making money) too. That’s why the link back to you on affiliate marketing is here. Some companies won’t accept me because of the state I live in with the Nexus laws. I don’t mind paying taxes on the money but it’s become so complicated here. I just received your emailed and signed up. I’ll be checking it out and you never know, there might be a post here about it too 🙂 I’ll have to see how it goes. I hope it works well, it would be a great solutions for some bloggers looking to make a little extra money.
      I can’t believe some won’t pay til after you use follow links, I won’t take money for that now with the Google penalties, not worth it. Thanks for coming by Enstine and have a great week and best of luck with the new platform.

  • Hi Lisa,

    Glad to see you mention the “previous” SponsoredTweets. I was so sad to see that one fail, as I enjoyed it. I make some money via product links (click links) and via my eBooks (although not promoted as much on MGP). Affiliates like Grammarly and StudioPress have been working for me as well. However, I don’t want to come across as the blog that just promotes. That’s totally not what MGP is about as you know. I think being able to sell your own services is a great way but the market today is huge so how does one compete?

    Hope you enjoy PT today! Happy Monday!

    B

    • Hi Brenda, oh yes, I got my monthly $1 bill from them and went back to check it all out. I am so bummed by it – I loved the old one! I do know what you mean. I’m the same way here as you don’t see many ads, a few infolinks and the Hello Bar at bottom to generate email addresses. That’s it! I would do a banner if it was a great product I used and felt others could benefit from.
      I do feel better, not as stiff. And the sun came out and it warmed up a bit. Enjoy the rest of your day Brenda and thanks for coming by with your input on this post!

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