The 4 Main Ways to Make Money Blogging

I’ve always been upfront about how I make money with The Rideshare Guy, from my podcast episode about how the site makes money, to how I make money with YouTube, and how other rideshare bloggers make money as well. One of the catalysts for me to be able to leave my engineering job and write full time about rideshare was blogging. Today, we have a guest post from Cody Berman about how you can get started blogging today.

Ever wonder how bloggers are able to earn hundreds or thousands of dollars per month?

Before I entered into the blogging world, I didn’t even have the slightest clue.

To be honest, it wasn’t until almost a year after I started my blog when I really understood how blogs made money.

But now, I’ve realized that blogging is a great way to create an additional income stream.

Whether you’re thinking about starting a blog, or a blogger who hasn’t figured out how to monetize your site, this post will give you insight into the four main ways to make money with your blog.

How Bloggers Make Money

#1 Advertising

Advertising is one of the best ways to monetize a highly-trafficked website. Typically, the more “eyeballs” you can get on your site, the higher the payout.

The Rideshare Guy has different types of advertising throughout the site. Some are from advertising networks, which has different rules (explained below) and some is direct advertising from companies that want to work with RSG. You’ll see those ads at the bottom of the blog posts.

Ads can appear in a number of different places on any given website including

  • Top banner
  • Sidebar
  • In-content
  • Pop-up

amongst many others.

In terms of payout, there are two main types of ads.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

The first type of ad is CPC (Cost Per Click).

With the cost-per-click model, advertisers will only pay the website owner if a viewer actually clicks on the ad.

CPC is typically the more popular ad model as most search networks are already optimized for conversions.

Let’s say that an advertiser pays a CPC rate of $2.50.

If an ad is shown to 10,000 people and 100 of them click on it, the website owner would receive a $250 payment (100 clicks * $2.50 = $250).

CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)

The second type of ad is CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions).

With this ad type, the advertiser pays the blogger based on how many impressions or views the ad gets.

Let’s assume that an advertiser is willing to pay a CPM of $2 (or $2 for every 1,000 views).

If the ad reaches 100,000 people per month, the website owner would receive a monthly payout of $200 (100,000/1,000 views * $2 = $200).

#2 Affiliate Marketing

Becoming an affiliate for your favorite products or services is a great way to earn money with your blog.

Many companies participate in what are called affiliate programs. For The Rideshare Guy, he works with affiliates he knows and trusts, like Stride (for tracking mileage), cash back apps for drivers like GetUpside, and Cargo (which helps drivers earn more by offering snacks and drinks to passengers).

As a blogger, you can sign up for these affiliate programs and receive custom links to promote your favorite products or services from a given company.

These links can be placed in blog posts, on web pages, or even in your social media channels.

With affiliate marketing, you earn money when someone actually purchases or uses the product or service after clicking on your affiliate link.

Affiliate commissions can range anywhere from 1-10% for physical products, and upwards of 50% for digital products.

Example: Jerry’s Jump Rope course sells for $29 and pays a 30% commission. You write a review about how great the jump rope course is and sell 5 courses through your affiliate links. The payout is $43.50 ($29 x 5 courses x 30%).

Fun Fact: Some bloggers are earning over six-figures from affiliate marketing.

#3 Sponsorships

Similar to advertising, sponsorships are when companies pay you to get their brand/content in front of your audience (although it’s slightly different).

But unlike advertising, sponsorships typically involve a flat fee (either one-time or monthly).

An ideal sponsor is one who you feel comfortable promoting, and who wants to get their product or service in front of your audience. RSG has worked with sponsors like Mystro and Fair, although again, they only work with sponsors they’ve used and like.

Some common sponsorship opportunities are blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns, or even display-ad-type content.

Sponsorship contracts depend on audience size, how targeted the audience is, and how much you promote the product or service.

Example: You have a blog in the outdoor hiking niche. Betty’s Backpacks is interested in getting their brand in front of your audience. They pay you $1,000 for a blog post and an email sent to your subscribers.

#4 Selling Your Own Products

The final way to earn money with your blog is to sell your own products.

This strategy is most successful when you have a large audience or are well-connected within your specific niche. The best examples of this for The Rideshare Guy are his book, The Rideshare Guide, and his course, Maximum Ridesharing Profits.

There are two main types of products that you can sell on your website.

Physical Products

Physical products are things like books, t-shirts, crafts, subscription boxes, and other tangible goods.

These products typically have a lower margin since there is quite a bit of overhead.

Product creation (manufacturing), storage/fulfillment, and shipping all cut into your net profit.

Highly-trafficked websites do well with physical products due to the sheer number of items sold.

Digital Products

Digital products are things like online courses, ebooks, and software.

These products typically have a much higher margin because once you create the product, you can sell it as many times as you want with no additional work needed.

There are plenty of online tools and resources to help you create a digital product to sell on your website.

The best thing about having your own products is that even if you don’t have a massive audience from the start, you can sign other people up as affiliates for your product and let them take a cut of the revenue for each sale they refer.

This can be an especially lucrative agreement with digital products.

Blog Traffic is Key

While understanding how blogs make money is a great start, you can’t capitalize on these strategies without first driving traffic to your blog.

The best way to maximize your blog traffic is to understand SEO (search engine optimization).

When I first started blogging, I had absolutely no idea how to optimize my site and posts to rank on Google.

Now, it’s one of my top priorities and one of the reasons why I’m able to generate a monthly income from my blog.

To help you avoid the dozens (probably hundreds) of mistakes I made with my blog, I want to share with you one of the best SEO ebooks for absolutely free.

My friend Julie, who blogs over at Millennial Boss and receives over 125,000 users on her site per month, put together “The ABCs of Blog SEO” to help new and struggling bloggers drive traffic to their blogs.


Once you understand the mechanics of blogging for profit, it becomes a game.

You’ll want to constantly produce quality content, optimize for SEO and determine a monetization strategy.

If you’re on the fence, take action today and get started.

Blogging is one of the most rewarding and lucrative side hustles out there.

Bio: Cody is the co-founder of Gold City Ventures, owner of Fly to FI, and co-host of The FI Show. He left his corporate banking job at age 22 to pursue entrepreneurship full time and now teaches others how to do the same. When he’s not talking about side hustling and personal finance, Cody enjoys travel, weightlifting, and having a good time!