Do you want to make money blogging? As of late, I’ve been enjoying an increasing level of income from Site Sketch 101. I’m thrilled and excited to announce that I’m truly beginning to make money blogging. Today I’m going to share with you the strategies that have been making that happen.

Amongst most profitable bloggers, income is divided into one of two categories: active and passive. When you make money blogging through active income, it refers to revenue that you work to earn such as hourly wages from a job or the price of some services you render to a client. When you make money blogging through passive income, it refers to revenue that you earn without working such as advertising on your blog, sales from affiliate links, or selling products that you’ve created.

The joy of passive income is that you can literally make money with your blog while you’re sleeping, while you’re in the shower or while you’re in the back yard training a competitive weight pull dog. I often wake up to find out that during the night, I had made several sales of products that I receive a commission to sell such as Elegant Themes, Gravity Forms, Popup Domination, Scribe SEO, WooThemes or others.

15 Powerful Ways to Make Money Blogging

Are You Ready
to Make Money Blogging?

Section #1: Affiliate Programs

Working with affiliate programs is nothing more than receiving a commission for selling another blogger’s products. As you refer your readers to purchase services, e-books, digital products, themes, or anything else, you will receive a percentage of each sale based on the terms of each particular affiliate program that you sign up with.

  • Make Money Blogging Tip #1: Sign up for Affiliate Programs
    Affiliate sales are the highest source of income at Site Sketch 101. The key to making money through affiliate sales is to expand the number of affiliate programs that you’re a part of quickly. The more programs that you’re apart of, the greater your opportunity to promote an affiliate product when blogging about your site’s various topics. Here’s a short list of a few affiliate programs that are very lucrative here at Site Sketch 101: Scribe SEO, Ninja Affiliate, Gravity Forms, Genesis Theme, Popup Domination, Ramped Reviews, Write for the Web, Trust Agents, Constant Contact, Aweber, Problogger: The Book, Sponsored Tweets, Mind Meister, Woo Themes, Site 5 Hosting, Elegant Themes, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, Theme Forest, and Studio Press.
  • Tip #2: Write About Your Affiliate Products
    You’ll never make money blogging with affiliate products unless you can get them in front of an audience of people who are specifically looking for the products you’re offering. The most effective method for getting your affiliate products in front is to write articles describing the benefits and drawbacks of using one of the products that you’re promoting. In these reviews, be honest. Don’t just up-sell the item. Mention its drawbacks and what you don’t like about it as well as what you do.
  • Tip #3: Casually Mention Your Affiliate Products
    Another powerful method for making killer sales is to simply mention the products that you promote when writing about a topic it relates to. For example, if I’m writing an article about setting up a self-hosted WordPress site, I might casually mention that my site is hosted on Site 5 hosting. To simplify this process, an amazing plugin has been built by the good folks over at Max Blog Press. If you’re not already using Ninja Affiliate, you should definitely check it out.
  • Tip #4: Use Banner Ads for Your Affiliate Products
    Some folks are very graphically oriented, and as such, a beautiful, well-designed banner below the post or in the sidebar is enough to generate the clicks needed to make the next sale.
  • Tip #5: Search Target Your Affiliate Links
    Open your Google Analytics account and examine the keywords that are being used to send traffic to your website. Once you identify a keyword that’s sending high traffic, figure out which article those browsers are landing on. Use this information to add affiliate products and banners to the article that are specifically targeted to folks who are searching for the keyword phrase that you identified.

15 Powerful Ways to Make Money BloggingSection #2: Your Blog’s Assets

Although you may not realize it, your blog has several assets that can be tapped into to increase the amount of cash flow you’re able to produce.

  • Make Money Blogging Tip #6: Sell RSS Advertising
    Using Google Adsense, you can insert a small ad into the footer of each post that goes out through RSS. You probably won’t make millions doing this, but if you can make an extra $15 to $25 dollars a month, it will add up over time.
  • Tip #7: Sell Advertising Across Your Site
    Ads can be annoying to users, so it’s incredibly important that you focus on displaying them in a way that is prominent enough to gain clicks and provide value for the advertisers while also not irritating the reader and driving them to no longer return. The best place to find ads for your site are Google Adsense or
  • Tip #8: Sell Post Sponsorships
    Another great way to make money blogging is to allow business to sponsor posts that you write. If you do this, you should focus on providing the sponsor with the opportunity to represent the best articles that you produce. Give them access to your link-bait posts so that you’re able to provide them with legitimate value for their investment.
  • Tip #9: Sell Sponsored Reviews
    Some companies are willing to pay good money for the opportunity to get their products in front of your readers. Sponsored reviews are similar to what we discussed above with writing about affiliate products, but instead of getting paid based on sales, you charge a flat rate per article. There are two important notes that you should always remember with sponsored reviews. First, be honest and talk about the good and the bad. Second, let your audience know that you’re getting paid to review it (it’s the law).
  • Tip #10: Sell Sponsored Guest Posts
    Very similar to sponsored reviews, some companies will pay for the opportunity to write a guest post in which they can casually mention their product or promote their business. Again, be sure to let your audience know that compensation is involved. There’s absolutely no reason to hide it.
15 Powerful Ways to Make Money Blogging

Section #3: You

  • Make Money Blogging Tip #11: Sell Self-Made Products
    Another very lucrative source of income here at Site Sketch 101 has been sales of “Blogging to the Third Power“, the book that I wrote last year. I’m currently working on writing another book and I’d highly recommend that you do the same. A good product can generate a lot of revenue.
  • Tip #12: Sell Your Unique Services
    Regardless of the niche in which you blog, there is almost certainly a service or two that you can offer to your audience. With Site Sketch 101, I’m able to offer banner creation services, Facebook page setup, WordPress template modifications and much more. Be creative and come up with something that will work for you and your audience.
  • Tip #13: Sell Your Expert Consulting
    Consulting within your niche is a great way to monetize your subject authority on a given subject. Setting up sessions to help folks learn at a college level pace is a great way to snag some extra cash at your site.
  • Tip #14: Take on Speaking Engagements
    Speaking engagements are the next logical step after building a significant level of credibility on your site. As you become more authoritative, you’ll be invited to share your knowledge at conferences, meetings, seminars, webinars and much more. Or you can create your own engagements.
  • Tip #15: Accept Donations
    If you enjoyed this post or this blog in general, then you should consider clicking here and buying me a coke. See, wasn’t that easy? 🙂

Most bloggers think that as long as they keep writing, money will magically start trickling into their bank accounts, but that’s not how it works. If it’s your goal to make money blogging then that means that you’re turning your blog into a business and that requires planning and hard work. Use this article as a guide to make that happen for you and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can start to making money blogging.

Nicholas Cardot

About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.


  • Brad Harmon says:

    Passive income is the best type, Nicholas. There’s nothing like having your efforts continue to work for you. That’s one of the reasons I think every small business should have a blog. It’s a tireless promoter who never stops working and doesn’t need to be paid.

    Thank you for sharing how you MAKE MONEY BLOGGING here at sitesketch101. It’s been encouraging to read about your checks coming in each month. I’m excited for you each time you send out a tweet about it.

    Just curious, but do you have an affiliate program for your book?

    • Hey, Brad. I sure do have an affiliate program for it.

      And thanks for helping with that nice, pretty keyword phrase in your comment. 🙂

      You know, I’ve never asked for links on a post before, but I was chatting with Ryan Critchet on Twitter and he mentioned that the best way to get the community involved might simply be to just ask them to join in. So sure enough, I decided to attach that little message letting every one know with complete transparency what keyword phrase I’m trying to get listed for. And you know what? I’ve already had 2 people tell me that they’re going to link to this article in the next day or two. That makes me smile.

  • Nick, I love earn from the “active income” tactics. I always MAKE MONEY BLOGGING by selling my services. Here at your “MAKE MONEY BLOGGING” article will make a huge turning point, it will make your blog to drive more traffic and you will be amazed to see this months income. Happy blogging Nick, Keep earning.

  • Ken says:

    Excellent article– very informative! Thanks to @cultfoo for tweeting the link.

    Do you have guidelines for pricing the sponsorship related items, or know somewhere else online I can check?


  • paul Crowe says:

    I use BSA, AdSense and pro services.Could never make a cent from affiliate products.I think the niche is very important in what will work, I’m looking to faze out AdSense as i attract more direct advertising on BSA.

    I have seen blogs set up a full page for donations instead of clicking direct to paypal and i think this would help get a few more Cokes !


    • That’s an interesting idea. I put a little link in the sidebar just for fun, but I don’t suppose it will generate any donations. I’m fairly pleased with Affiliate programs because they really generate a lot more cash for me than most of these other forms of advertising.

  • I make most of my money consulting and affiliate marketing & selling ad space.

    None alone are a killing, but together they are starting to add up.

  • Awesome post! I love this site!

    If only the world could see the unlimited potentials available to them.

    As soon as I make a few dollars through my blog i’m going to donate a computer to every child in a 3rd world country preloaded with wordpress, and a link to this site.

    Say goodbye to the extremes of poverty!

    You rock!

  • I popped over here because our debate during #blogchat made me want to see what you are cooking up over here. This post is so well done. Although I’m approaching blogging in very different ways from you in that it’s not a source of revenue for me (and is not intended to be), I think your way of sharing your steps to success is fantastic.

    Also, your point about having to work to make even passive income – bravo, sir. Bravo.

    • Thanks, Margie. I’m really, really excited about the income that I’ve been able to experience as a result of this blog and I don’t have any problem at all sharing what’s working for me.

      I have to ask, though, if not for revenue, what are you blogging for?

      • I’m doing a few things. I’m (hopefully) honing my skills as a writer, I’m (hopefully) offering guidance who are struggling through their first few blog posts or their first few tweets, because that was a super hard thing for me to struggle through last year, and I’m learning about the world of Social Media every day. Through keeping up on blogs around the blogosphere, keeping up on Twitter, I learn what’s coming down the pike, what people are talking about, and all sorts of other interesting tidbits that enrich my abilities (hopefully) as a marketer.

        I have thought about going down the affiliate marketing path before, but I just don’t feel the need for it right now. My main source of revenue is the work I do for my family’s marketing firm. This is my full-time job hobby 🙂

        • As you work to help beginner bloggers, don’t you think that it might be helpful to offer a book like ‘31 Days to Build a Better Blog‘ or ‘Problogger’s Guide to Your Blog’s First Week‘? Or if you’re improving your writing and helping others do the same, don’t you think that you could recommend a resource like James Chartrand’s ‘Write for the Web‘.

          I’ve been learning that I can help my readers even further by providing them with amazing resources and you are then able to make a bit of a profit from it. It’s a win-win situation.

          • I’ve thought about that. One of my concerns is that when you start using the affiliate program, I feel it becomes harder to do 100% honest book reviews of new books (something I enjoy doing). You’re either not going to review books you don’t think are good or you’ll sugar coat the review a bit so people buy.

            I recommend books, links, e-books, all sorts of stuff all the time, and there’s nothing in it for me. I like to think that this makes my recommendations strong in the minds of my readers because they know I REALLY think something is good. I know the reverse argument is that if you’re an affiliate, you believe in something strong enough to tie your name to it. I don’t think there’s a wrong or right.

            Just how I come down on the issue for now.

  • That first picture rocks! Worth coming to the blog for by itself!

    Nick, I’ve been on hundreds of blogs talking about this same subject.

    The reality is, a lot of them aren’t actually doing it, like you are.

    I can always count on coming here and getting solid actionable ideas. Love the idea of writing about the affiliate products to get them in front of your audience, as opposed to just having a banner hanging out in your sidebar.

    Another powerful post.

    P.S. WOW! A coke donation link. I’ve now seen it all.

    • Thanks for the kudos on that picture. Although I’m curious whether your talking about the thumbnail picture or the first large picture.

      I agree with your sentiment here. In fact, it was a very long time before I would write anything about making money online because I didn’t feel it was appropriate unless I was actually doing it.

      P.S. Where’s my Coke? 🙂

      • First large pic!

        I know what you mean. The best explanations come from the doing, especially when we’re talking about online business.

        Pshhhhh wheres’s mine? !! Good idea btw.

        • I agree. I often get frustrated when I read others articles on this same subject (make money blogging) because I know some are writing about it hoping that writing about it will help them to be successful at doing it rather than writing about it because they are successful at it. It’s exactly like you said, “The best explanations come from the doing.”

  • Friend… Everything you said is what I teach on my blog. Thanks for this. I’m going to expand more on them for my readers

  • Steve says:


    The best form of income is passive income. My main passive income is mainly from adsense sites and amazon sites that I had set months ago and their income is constantly increasing increasing each month even though it has been ages since I touched them. 😀


  • ah hong says:

    Passive income is the best! Imagine all the cash keep rolling in to your bank account 24×7, isn’t that amazing?

    Nick, I never knew that there’s RSS Advertising feature in Google Adsense, I would love to use it but too bad my RSS subscriber list is too small. Should I go ahead in deploying the ads in RSS? No harm right 🙂

  • There is a lot of information here for wanna-be professional bloggers. The fact is, everyone and their mother who has a blog wants to make money from it; everyone wants their blog to be thought of as “important”, and everyone wants more money in their pocket (duh).

    >>>I’m thrilled and excited to announce that I’m truly beginning to make money blogging,

    I’m curious to know, HOW much money are we talking here! It’s one thing to add a little pocket change to your paypal account every month…

    Advising everyone to invest their time (and therefor, their money) in all these steps, with the expectation of making serious cash in the end, could easily prove to be a waste of time for the majority of folks out there. If they don’t have the writing chops or anything of real value to say…

    My Uncle, for instance, as much as he’d like to, will never make a dollar from his blog. Whether he puts a series of banners up or not, there isn’t going to be some explosion of popularity for his blog articles. He’s just too thoroughly amateur. The problem is, he might not be aware of this reality – Maybe he’ll decide to put massive amounts of time into hyping up his site, with the dream of quitting his dayjob to blog all day…!

    • This is one of the best comments I’ve yet to receive. Great questions, Greg. Excellent.

      I actually decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t write about how to make money blogging until I was making enough to be proud of it. In the month of April, I made just under $1,100 through passive online income and I’m gunning to beat that this month.

      Do you think that’s enough to be able to share these tips?

  • I love how down to earth you are and your warm and welcoming website. This latest blog post gives me some great things to think about. For me I want any advertising to blend well with my website’s design. Some time down the road when I’ve built enough of a presence I’ll start adding a few bits of advertising, primarily between blog posts and in the sidebar. But I don’t want advertising to trump my website’s primary purpose, which is to emphasize my new business.

    But never mind all that … did you just a kitty background to your newsletter? Is that new or did I somehow overlook it on previous visits? It’s adorable and very eye-catching!!!

  • Nice write-up on some of the various ways your monetizing this site – I dig it.

    Personally, I’ve done a few things to monetize my site over the years:

    1.) Affiliate sales – this has been the lowest of all of them. But it’s nice that you can partner with the right products and generate some passive income on affiliate sales. Gotta love services like e-junkie for facilitating this!

    2.) Ad sales – I’ve done very few of these. My first ad sale happened because I was approached by a company who saw that I was going to speak at a large conference in coming months. They asked if they could purchase advertising space on my site. I told them to offer me a price, we agreed and the rest is history.

    I’ve done much less of this these days but am debating opening up the possibility again.

    3.) Services – Over the last few years, my blog has served as a lead generation tool for consulting + design services. I joined a company in September of ’10 so naturally, I don’t do this any more.

    4.) Speaking – I’ve done quite a bit of speaking over the years. It’s a passion of mine and something that I enjoy very much. I continue to book events mainly through referral and prospects who come to the site to check on my past experience. I continue to do this for events that are mutually beneficial to myself and my company. This is by far, what has generated the most “passive” income for me.

    Anyway, that’s my run-down.

    What’s next? An ebook and I’m going to continue to sell my subscription-based newsletter (paid).

  • […] night, so I decided to see what he had cooking on his blog site. I found this gem about how to make money blogging. While we are on very different paths, I appreciate the simplicity with which Nicholas runs you […]

  • Wow, talk about an extensive and heavy-hitting list here. =) Congratulations on finally starting to make money blogging and watching all your efforts gain momentum into passive income.

    I’ve really been avoiding selling affiliate products simply because I don’t like active marketing. However, it seems everywhere I turn lately everyone is saying the “only” way to make money online is through affiliate products.


    • I can relate to this.

      I think it all boils down to the spirit of the sale. Does it come from genuinly caring perspective? or is it because you wan’t to gain more for your self.

      If you offer a product because you genuinly believe it will make a difference in someone elses life and benefit their current situtation then it should be voiced. To NOT offer something that will help someone else would be pretty selfish too.

      Now if you get paid for offering something of value to someone then it’s a double bonus!

      The challenge in todays world is 90% of marketers are only concerned with themselves.

      Customers are getting smarter though, the old sleezy car salesmen technique won’t work in the next few years.

      Time to start really caring about the people around us 🙂

      What do you think?

      • I agree. I was perusing the ClinkBank marketplace the other day, and although I found a few products from some folks that I respect, most are such a waste. And yet, the reports were saying that some of those “become a millionaire” programs were making a killing on there. It’s really sad.

    • You don’t have to be that active to make a profit from it. A brief mention of a product that relates to your overall post, or a link in the sidebar can actually be quite effective.

  • Thomas Frank says:

    #11 and #14 are the ones on the horizon for me. I’m currently working on a book that will build off of what I’ve been doing with College Info Geek.

    Speaking is something I really, really want to do – I just need to figure out how to break into it. As a college junior, I probably won’t be getting invited to do any freshman addresses any time soon (until graduation at least), but I think schools would be interested in booking me to talk about entrepreneurship in college or other related topics. This is something I hope to get rolling next semester.

    • Just remember that folks probably won’t ask you to speak on a subject unless that see that you are highly effective in your work in that subject. So if you want to speak on entrepreneurship then start a great business online or off, start building some strong profits and left the people in the right places know about it.

      • Thomas Frank says:

        True. I’d like to start speaking on success in college, which I’ve had a lot of. I think getting a book written and published would be a real asset though – it’s something REALLY concrete I can send to the people that run programs that students attend.

  • […] of going the route of advertising. My friend Nicholas Cardot wrote an excellent post on how to make money blogging – it should get you started. __________________ I'm Thomas, and I run the college success blog […]

  • […] 15 Powerful Ways to Make Money Blogging – by Nicholas Cardot, […]

  • I regular read your articles. But one thing in my mind why you are not using Adsense Why? Please tell.

  • rebecca says:

    good tips I personally have seen success with affiliate programs but selling consulting expertise I offer social media coaching. But your right its work and I don’t push it hard enough to make much keep up the good work Nicholas

    proud of you

  • […] able to make money blogging from home and without having answer to anyone but yourself… that’s the dream right? But […]

  • Brad Gardner says:

    Great article Nicholas! You have a terrific site and I like your down to earth points of view.

    The link to Buy You A Coke is great, if these tips make me money on my blog I will return when I have cash and buy you one!

    Keep it up!

    My Latest Blog Post: First Steps to a Great Start For Your Business | A Well Crafted Logo

  • […] will not get far at all without a plan. If you start a blog to make money and just keep on blogging blindly you will soon get fed up and give up; if you start trying to do […]

  • I must say I’m sad about beeing swedish. We don’t have any good affiliate programs here, and the ones we have are corrupt (cheating etc..). The only tool we have here in sweden to make really good money is Adsense.

    I hate the lack of affiliate programs here 🙁 Wish I were american.

    • Winnie says:

      You are not alone, in Kenya we also do not have good affiliate programmes,actually I can’t think of any that are as lucrative as the American ones.But you know what, am positive that we are heading there. So I am looking forward to better times.

    • Philip says:

      If your traffic is coming from the US or any other country that the affiliate program supports then you don’t have to worry about how to make money blogging. 🙂

  • […] Sitesketch101 is one of my favourite blogs. Nick is one of the most down to earth of the big bloggers in the niche and I think people respect that. The blog is about how to be a better blog and make money blogging. […]

  • Donna Curto says:

    I am collage and a text tile artist. I am currently working on my first art exhibit at Gallery 202 in Westerville Ohio. I need to begin a blog and setup a website to sell my scarfs and other hand dyed shibori items. Pursuing art as a career is very exciting. I have a wounderful mentor. I really want to blog about the journey of becoming as a artist. Donna

  • George says:

    This is a great post for anybody who consider blogging as a passion. Making money from a blog naturally happens when one discovers his or her style of blogging.

    Thanks for the great list of affiliate programs you are promoting.

  • I have Google Adsense on my Blog but still I am not able to convert my Blog Traffic into my Revenue.. around 200 visitors right visit my Blog but i am getting enough revenue from it… Help me!!!

  • Wiki says:

    Well Said. But, it is not easy to make money through affiliate marketing on Blogger. It will take time to success because people need to trust you, so gaining successful followers may lead your Business success.

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  • Valentin says:

    It’s a good way to make some money. But need more perseverance and, more recently, technical knowledge in the field.

  • Nirmal Kumar says:

    I am going to try some affiliate marketing you have suggested

  • raj says:

    this is great post………..

  • Wow, I can’t imagine if your doing all of this stuff, you probably sitting back and relaxing. 🙂 I don’t plan on blogging for money, but I am curious how can they make money from blogs.

    What if you a have a blogs on your business site, can you still apply this? earn maybe a little extra?


  • Jamie Murphy says:

    Thank you for this. I currently only utilise adsense and had not thought of things such as affiliate programs!

    I will look into methods you have mentioned! Thanks again

  • Shalu Sharma says:

    Indeed, blogging is one smart way to make money online. Its difficult in the beginning and very hard work. But with some determination and hard work, its possible to make money. There is a lot of secrecy about how money can be made online. We all know about affiliate programmes but how do we actually go about doing it is difficult to understand. And you have summarised it very well.

  • I’m loving it the way you organised, very special examples. Keep rocking.

  • […] Sitesketch101 is one of my favourite blogs. Nick is one of the most down to earth of the big bloggers in the niche and I think people respect that. The blog is about how to be a better blog and make money blogging. […]

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