How to Make Money With Your Blog … Without Putting Up a Single Ad


make money bloggingIt seems easy in theory.

Start a blog, put up some ads, and watch the dough roll in.

But the reality is … it’s never like that.

In fact, to make $100 a day with Google AdSense you’d need about 40,000 page views per day. And to make those page views, you’d need about 500 epic blog posts on your site. Not just filler articles, but 500 pillar posts that aim to teach, awe and inspire, and attract about 80 page views each. Per day.

Sure, it can be done. But that’s a lot of work to make $100 a day.

And it’s even harder than you think. Readers have become pretty ad blind. I know I rarely pay attention to ads anymore. In fact, I completely overlooked an email call-to-action box once, because it was square, outlined, and placed at the top of the side bar. I saw the shape and wrote it off as an ad. I actually had to ask the blogger if she had an opt in form on her site because I honestly thought it was an AdSense ad.

And I know I can’t be the only one who overlooks ads in the sidebar.

Want another reason why ads suck? When you put up ads, you WANT people to click them. You’re actively asking all those visitors you worked so hard to get, to go and leave your site. Why in the hell would you want to do that?

Instead, I’d rather focus on other ways to monetize a blog. Ways that don’t require a single ad, and ways that keep your traffic on your own site. And there are tons of ways to make money blogging. Here are just some of them.

Sponsored posts

A sponsored post is when a company or business pays you to post about their business, product or service. The post can be written by you or by them. You are required to mention it as a sponsored post, and that you are compensated for sharing the information.

So how do you get sponsored posts? There’s a lot that goes into them, and advertisers are picky about which blogs they choose. First, your blog should fit the industry of the advertiser. Advertisers also look at many other factors, like page views, Google page rank, social media followers, email subscribers and other rank-defining criteria.

You can look through sites like SponsoredReviews, Business2Blogger, or TapInfluence to find sponsored blog posts or sponsored product reviews.

Or, you can let advertisers find you. By writing quality content, and advertising that you accept sponsored posts, advertisers can find your blog. While this method may take more time and more work, you can charge higher rates when you do it on your own.

Sell products

EBooks, eCourses, digital files. There are many different products you can sell on your site. The key is to find something that fits your niche, and is something your audience will be dying to buy.

Where do you start? First things first; you want to make sure it’s something your audience is interested in. And how do you know? You ask them. Poll your audience, ask your email subscribers, post questions on social media. Find out exactly what your audience wants to know the most. What is their most burning question or problem that you can address?

Once you know what your audience wants, pick a product type that fits your audience. Some people prefer text to video, or vice versa. Some would rather read an eBook than take a course. Some love digital downloads. Figuring this out isn’t always as easy, and it takes knowing your readers. You may also do some experimenting and split testing to figure out your sweet spot.

Sell services

Not into making products? Selling services is another great way to monetize a blog. You already know how to write your own blog posts, why not write blog posts for others?

Other services you can offer include (but are definitely, definitely not limited to): virtual assistant, social media assist, website design, website building.

Think of what you excel at. Would you enjoy doing it for others as well? And does your blog reflect your work? As a blogger, it would be easy to show others you know how to blog. If you wanted to offer social media services, do your own account reflect that you know what you’re doing? Use your blog as a resume and make a page to advertise your services.


Instead of selling your services, you can teach others to do it too. Coaching or consulting can apply to just about any industry. Teach other bloggers to build a successful blog on their own terms, guide people through their life, help people stick to a eating a healthy diet. There are literally hundreds of things that could be taught to others. Use your own expertise to help guide others to their own success.


Now we’re getting into spreading your expertise to the masses. Instead of one-on-one coaching or consulting, hosting webinars (live online lecture or workshop) or seminars (in person lecture or class) are a great way to teach a bunch of people at the same time.

If you’ve never done either, webinars are a great way to get started. Pick a topic your readers want to know more about. Look at your most popular posts; can you expand on any of them? Or you can go back to what we were talking about under the products category, and find out exactly what your readers want.

Now, a webinar doesn’t have to mean speaking on camera. You can create a slideshow presentation and use webinar software like GoToWebinar or WebinarJam, or YouTubeLive (Free!) to broadcast your slides and your voice. Of course you can use the same software to capture yourself speaking. Choose the method that you’re most comfortable with!


A membership site can bring you consistent monthly income. It can become a group of readers that are very dedicated to you and your blog. These are the people who will most likely be willing to pay for other products you offer.

A membership site is a website in which you charge people to be an exclusive member of. It can be as simple as a paid forum, private Facebook group you charge a fee to access or even premium content your blog. The members become a community; they get more access to additional content, direct access to you and also to each other.

Making money with your blog doesn’t mean throwing some ad boxes in your side bar. There are many other ways to monetize and make a real income. Pick something that your audience will truly be interested in. Something they will be willing to spend money on.

(Bonus post: Need more blogging advice? In my post “22 Top Bloggers Share the One Thing They Wish They Had Known When They Started Blogging” I gathered the advice of some of the most successful bloggers to help you get where they are … without all the struggle)



  1. Hi Corinne, Thank you for this post. I was this close to pulling the trigger on paying someone to create a website just to do affiliate marketing but the question in the back of my mind was, ‘was I going to be spending all my time trying to send traffic to that site instead of my own?’ I didn’t want to get distracted from what I actually want to do which is write and publish children’s books. I have a blog and an opt-in and a small email list. While I would love to make the seemingly easy money of affiliate marketing, I think it will just take me away from my actual goal. I do believe I need to figure out what my target audience wants and offer that on my own website. I will be getting your freebie to help me figure that out.

  2. I have developed a website/blog but still can not get traffic and ultimately make conversion. I am being frustrated as I see people are making big money blogging and I can not. Can you give me any fruitful suggestion. Finding no other way in getting traffic, I at least proceeded to to take the help of social marketers. Is this way fruitful?

    • Corinne says:

      Thanks for reaching. Unfortunately, many bloggers might have you believe making money online is easy. It is not. It takes a lot of work. If you’re not getting traffic, I’d start by making sure you’re clear on your audience and who you want to serve. Then get in front of them. Comment on other blogs with the same audience. Submit guest posts to other niche blogs. Answer questions and provide tons of value in Facebook groups.

      I briefly checked out your blog, and didn’t see an obvious way you are monetizing. Perhaps making your services more obvious would help with conversions

  3. Thank you for your advice and ideas. I have added this post to my Pins for future reference. I am just starting out with my blog and can’t even fathom reaching 1000’s of page views each day. I know it will happen eventually but right now I get excited over ever single view I get, ha.

    Thank you again and I am looking forward to reading the rest of your posts.

    The Broke Dad

  4. Great ideas for other avenues of earning a living blogging.
    I’ve only been blogging since June, so I’ve found a few affiliate ass to post in Facebook groups to bring in some income while I focus on growing my subscribers.
    Your tips in this post will come in handy a little later in my blogging career 🙂

  5. Hi Corrine!

    I recently just started working on creating a blog and have been looking up for material all over Pinterest. Honestly, I feel this post has been the most helpful considering I can’t really see myself doing much affiliate marketing on my blog! Thanks for the great post and inspiration!

    • Corinne says:

      OMG Carolyn this made my night! Thank you so much!
      And I agree, I just can’t do ads or affiliate marketing either. If I’m going to work that hard to get traffic to my blog, I don’t want to make pennies by sending them away from blog 🙂 That’s not to say it can’t work, but it’s a heck of a lot work!

      Feel free to reach out if you need help creating that blog!


  6. Hi, Corinne

    I am a newbie in blogging (less than a year). There are still many things for me to learn.

    The suggested methods to earn money with the blog are still need a huge traffic in order to be successful.
    For a newbie like me without a list, it may take one to two years to build a list before we can start to earn money.
    I don’t believe (like somebody claiming) you can earn money within half a year. What is your opinion on this?

    Stella Chiu
    Stella Chiu recently posted…You can Free from Asthma for Good almost EffortlesslyMy Profile

    • Hey Stella, I’m in the same boat as you.
      Without a worthwhile list or major traffic flow the only way to make money is to buy your traffic and that seems (to me!) to be self-defeating. I suppose if the margins are good it can work, but hell!
      Chris Hooker recently posted…Oh shit! I am insane!My Profile

      • Corinne says:

        Hey Chris,
        no! Don’t buy traffic. It wouldn’t be the traffic you want anyway. It’s like buying likes, they aren’t going to be people who are truly interested, people that will return to your site for each post you write.

        Have you gotten any further figuring out what you’d like to blog about?
        Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d rather not answer here:

    • Corinne says:

      Hey Stella,
      I see your frustration. And while I DO think it’s possible to start making money within 6 months, realistically it may not be what you’re led to believe.
      I love that you’re realistic Stella, but I also think you don’t need huge amounts of traffic. Traffic, yes. Just not huge amounts. You just need to get the right eyeballs on your site 🙂

      Are you doing anything to really build your list? I see you have an opt in box. Have you tried playing around with your offer, trying other freebies? Placing the offer elsewhere on your site?

  7. Hi Corinne,

    “Readers have become pretty ad blind.”

    When it comes to TV commercials I’m quite blind. So you are, I guess. So are my friends. So is everyone I know. So are a lot of people. Still companies pay for these TV ads. Guess why! 🙂


    P.S. No, I don’t disagree with the monetization methods from your article. But… for example if you don’t know how to sell your service, you won’t make a decent amount of money. So is banner advertising. It’s not that the readers are ad blind – it’s what you do and how you do the things.

    Many people are blind to ads indeed – but that includes the copy for your services. You need ads for everything. And when I refer to ads, I don’t necessarily refer to yelling “buy my stuff.” Even a disguised ad is still an ad 😉 So you need ads for selling your service. But the people are blind to ads, so how are you selling, it’s like running in circles. Is that so? No it isn’t. It’s just an impression resulted from the half-myth “people are blind to ads.”

    Some people are ad blinds. But not everyone. Some people don’t go frequently to a restaurant. Restaurants still make money. Some people rarely buy shoes. Shoe stores still make money. But not every restaurant (or show store) makes money. It’s what you do and how you do it. Etc, etc, etc. I’ll stop here 🙂
    Adrian Jock recently posted…AWeber vs GetResponse. Marketer’s Best Friends. Epic ReviewMy Profile

    • Corinne says:

      Hey Adrian,
      you bring up a good point. We are not blind to advertising in general. Banner ads can still work, Hello bars and smart bars definitely do. So do welcome mats. I think you’re speaking more to marketing, whereas I’m using “ads” to describe ads like AdSense. Clickable ads thrown up in the sidebar or in the middle of posts to sell something.
      I’m not going to say they NEVER work, but as a form of monetization, they take an awful lot of work to make money. It takes quite a bit of traffic. My point is there are better ways to monetize a blog. Not talking about tv ads (cause while I ignore them, they sure get to my kids! They want everything they see on tv. And I mean everything!)

      • Oh, yes, if you’re referring to AdSense ads or any other similar programs, you’re 100% right. To make money you need a lot of traffic. A lot. Some of these programs are even designed to make you waste your time…

        Recently I tested such a program in order to verify one of my theories. I was puzzled when I noticed that the clicks from US were considered useless and weren’t earning any money. When I asked them why is that, the answer was, “Our advertisers aren’t interested in US traffic.” No further comment. Or maybe I should add that nowhere on their site was mentioned that the clicks from US will get nothing 😉
        Adrian Jock recently posted…AWeber vs GetResponse. Marketer’s Best Friends. Epic ReviewMy Profile

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