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3 Ways Bloggers Make Money Online

3 Ways $ OnlineThere are 3 ways bloggers make money online.

While there are other methods that bloggers use, personal branding, affiliate marketing and network marketing are the main ones. 

The fact is that the majority of bloggers do not have a great deal of success in monetizing their blogs.  But it’s also fair to say that there are many bloggers who do not operate blogs to make money, but to champion a cause, promote an ideology or share an expertise.

Among those who do work to monetize their blogs, though, here are the 3 methods I consider most feasible.

Personal Branding

Now, creating and maintaining a personal brand is not usually profitable on the front end.

People read blogs written by experts, authorities and leaders all the time.  But they are not likely to spend any money while doing it. 

Even when authority and expert bloggers offers products and services for sale either overtly or in sidebar ads, the conversion or reader to buyer is not a great method for monetizing a blog.

Instead, these bloggers spend the majority of their effort developing a personal brand such as “dog trainer,” or “self-development coach.”   While they may offer their products and services, the strongest model for monetizing their blogs is rooted in list building. 

So rather than “sell” a dog training or self development product or service, they typically will offer a free ebook or video or some such thing, in exchange for a visitor signing up for their ezine, or email newsletter.  In the course of delivering free information and updates in the newsletter, the personal branding blogger will eventually promote products and services related to his/her personal brand.

Many bloggers make money online using personal branding in this way.

Network Marketing

Other bloggers focus on generating leads and prospects for their “primary opportunity” in the form of an MLM, direct sales or other network type of business.

Some network marketing blogs make an up front pitch for people to join them in their business.  Their articles focus on the benefits of joining their “team”, and feature success stories of others, profiles of company owners and leaders, and such things.

Others offer content geared more to the niche that their company is in, rather than talk directly about the company.  So if you’re a sales rep for a healthy juicing company, for instance, you might blog mostly about the benefits of juicing, and the benefits of getting involved in this lucrative business.

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A reader might find information tucked somewhat concealed within the blog, that would indicate what company this blogger represents, and how to contact them to join their downline.

On the other hand, some network marketing bloggers never talk directly about the company they represent until they get you on their email list.  In that case, they use the list building method that personal branding bloggers use, as a way to bring prospects onto their email list.

They eventually get around to doing serious promotion of their company only to people who have joined their email list.

Affiliate Marketing

Many bloggers choose to monetize their blogs by offering affiliate products, services and programs or services to their visitors.

Among this group of bloggers are those who sell  products by reviewing them, and then selling them right in the article. 

Many Amazon sites employ this method to promote physical products.

Clickbank and other digital product affiliates employ a similar method.

Then there are bloggers who promote a random array or products and services by continually reviewing them on their blog post, and giving people a chance to buy them by clicking a link to in within the post, or maybe on the sidebar of their blog.

Google Adsense blogs follow a similar path, but they are not affiliate marketers in the strict sense of the term, because they don’t make commission as a result of a purchase, but only a click to view an Adsense ad.  So they simply expose people to ads on their blog, and when clicked, they earn a fee. 

CPA, or click per action bloggers, follow the same path that Adsense bloggers do.  Again, they get paid just for having people click their ads.

The Blogging Business

No matter which type of blogger you are, these are the 3 best ways for bloggers to make money online, in my opinion. 

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Bloggers of any stripe, though, share some things in common.

All bloggers need to know who their target audience is.

They must create high quality content for their audience to consume.

They need to provide content on a consistent and frequent basis.

They must find ways to build some rapport with their visitors.  This goes a long way to creating a trust that will serve them well when they eventually make offers of products and services.

Finally, the greatest opportunity to make money online for bloggers is to build a list of their readers and prospects.  That’s where people get serious about doing business with you.  It’s why most industry experts agree that “the money is in the list.”

Social media provides bloggers with enormous leverage for building their list.  You may want to learn how to use this leverage in your own business.

Donna and I are conducting a live webinar to show you how to build your list with social media. 

It’s called:

“List Building Leverage With Social Media”

Check it out. 

We’d love to have you attend.

So, what type of blogging model do you follow?

Do you monetize your blog with one of these 3 methods?

Please leave your comments below, and of course, share this article on your social sites with folks you think will find it useful.

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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54 Responses to 3 Ways Bloggers Make Money Online

  1. Nathaniel Kidd October 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Hi David,

    I think I am a mixture of personal branding and affiliate marketing, though as of late I have really been giving that a lot of thought, especially after our conversations. I am a true fan of yours and a member of your Whirlwind Success training system.

    I love blogging about Personal Finance but also currently incorporate affiliate products that I find effective that relate to personal finances and blogging in general. Thank you for such a very insightful article.
    Nathaniel Kidd´s last blog post ..Get the Most Bang for Your Buck this Shopping Season

    • David Merrill 101 October 8, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

      Thanks for the vote of confidence in what we’re doing at the Whirlwind Success VIP Club, Nathaniel.

      It’ been our pleasure to help you along so far.

      As for infusing affiliate products into your Personal Finance blog, I think you’re on the right track.

      You give great value with your blog articles, and so people come to trust you. Why not include some amount of “here’s something that can help you out” along the way.

      Just make sure it’s not in the nature of blatant and detached advertising. People are much more receptive if you weave your offers natively into your posts.

      And make sure you only promote stuff that will really and truly help them, and only stuff you can personally vouch for.

      Then, you will only improve your brand, not diminish it.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  2. Andy Lockhart October 5, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    David, spot on and I think I do all three at the moment depending on what I am talking about. I also try and add value by providing useful information. Thanks for sharing, Andy
    Andy Lockhart´s last blog post ..Using LinkedIn Groups for Networking

    • David Merrill 101 October 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

      You can do all three, Andy. It’s really just a matter of degree. Concentrate on what you what to be known for, but certainly include elements of all three approaches.

      What’s most important is to keep providing the value and useful information. That’s what really counts most at the end of the day.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  3. Mark October 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    Great tips David!

    And I agree with Nathaniel, I think my primary approach to successful online marketing, is that I actually more of a hybrid of personal branding and affiliate/direct sales marketing.

    But without a doubt, like Andy pointed out! your advice is spot on! And constantly striving to learn how to both provide and hopefully increase my value in the eyes o my target audience!

    Mark´s last blog post ..Ever Notice How The Most Profitable Marketing Ideas Seem To Multiply Your Results!Part Two

    • David Merrill 101 October 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

      The way you provide value while offering affiliate products and services, Mark, is to make sure your readers will truly benefit from those offers.

      Ask yourself, “Would I tell my mother to buy this affiliate product?” If the answer truly is yes, then you are sincerely looking out for the interest of your readers when you suggest they buy affiliate products. Don’t second guess yourself on that.

      If your readers think “well, I want Mark’s valuable info, but I don’t want to every buy anything”… then, guess what… that person is not really interested in doing business. A big part of running any business is buying stuff that will help you build a stronger business.

      If someone doesn’t want to invest anything into their business, they don’t have a business and probably never will. Don’t direct your efforts toward them. Focus on those willing to do what it takes to move forward, and never take their trust and loyalty for granted.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  4. Clint Butler October 8, 2014 at 2:08 am #

    I have a mixture on my site.

    Depending on the topic of the post you can tell where I am going almost right away.

    Lately though I have been focusing more on affiliate marketing through product reviews which seems to be working well.

    I have also focused a lot more on converting visitors to email subscribers.
    Clint Butler´s last blog post ..Top 10 Social Media News Topic Pages On Scoop.it

  5. David Merrill 101 October 8, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Building your list is really, really important, Clint.

    Everything depends on that. I assume you’re putting your efforts there because you know that it’s especially important when you’re doing affiliate marketing.

    Affiliate reviews are great. Think in terms of your added value. Encourage people to buy from your link if they intend to buy, because you’ll give them X, Y and Z bonuses. These could be in the form of ebooks and video trainings, of course… or just about anything.

    Make sure the bonuses are congruent with the main offer, though. If you’re reviewing a video marketing affiliate course, you want to give bonuses like “how to create a video sales letter,” and “how to leverage the power of Youtube” etc.

    The very best thing to do is to offer bonuses that YOU created. That way, your buyers won’t see you as just an affiliate, but also as added value to their business in your own right. This will absolutely skyrocket your open and click through rates, just for starters.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..3 Ways Bloggers Make Money Online

  6. Kyle Holcomb October 9, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Once again, great tips David! We just talked about most of this on the phone. If people do the things that you mention, stay focused, and stay consistent with their efforts, they will have the success that they desire. The key is to produce that valuable content the makes you an authority figure in the eyes of your viewers. If they see you as valuable, then they will want to continue visiting you blog and other sites for tips and eventually products or business opportunities. Thanks again!

    • David Merrill 101 October 10, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

      True enough, Kyle.

      Consistency and focus are critical to being successful in anything. Blogging is not exception.

      But, as you point out, the key beyond that is consistently offering your readers and visitors absolute value. Value means that you continually question yourself in this way: “does my blog post benefit my reader in some way, and how, precisely?”

      Notice, your primary question is not “how does this blog post benefit me?”, but “how does it benefit my reader.”

      Now, this sounds simple, and it is.

      But I guarantee you that the vast majority of bloggers invert the order of those questions.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  7. Chery Schmidt October 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    Hello David, Great post here my friend. I did just work on getting an opt in on my blog this past week and curious about what your thoughts are on something.

    I am going to see how this works but I am not offering anything No E-Book, No Video, No Free Report Nadda! So do you think my readers will sign in just to get updates from me?

    Well this is a goal of mine, not sure how it is going to work, I guess all I can do is test it Right? I am also working on putting this same opt in on FB Lets see what happens here.. LOL

    Thanks for the wonderful post it did get me a thinking.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..Is Achieving Financial Freedom As An Online Entrepreneur Possible?

    • David Merrill 101 October 12, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      I looked at your optin form, Chery, and I’d recommend this.

      Don’t make apologies. Don’t tell people (as you do on your optin box) “Sorry, no ebook, no video”. Don’t focus on what you’re NOT giving them, focus on what you ARE giving them.

      How will they benefit from getting your newsletter?

      For instance, “Look over my shoulder and see how I use generate prospects to build a top team for my business”. Now, that’s a benefit to getting your newsletter. People will learn your methods. Now, just make sure you deliver those on a regular basis. Maybe one blog post a week will be dedicated to lead generation… and email a link to it to your list.

      If you want a simple “product” to offer… how about this… “Join my list and get my 3 day Lead Generation bootcamp… start getting top prospect today.” Now, all you have to do is make your first email a “Welcome to my List” message which includes Day 1 of your great Lead Generation method. On Day 2 and 3, give them the rest of your “method.” Don’t have a method? Look at some of your past blog posts on the topic and re-purpose them into emails. There’s your bootcamp!

      Whatever you do, NEVER start with “Sorry…” It’s not a list I’d expect to find value from.

      I know you’ve got plenty to share with your subscribers, Chery, but I think you’re over-thinking the “product” obstacle. Sounds big and scary, but it doesn’t have to be.

      Check out my commentluv link to this reply for additional info on creating a product fast and simple.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..8 Steps To Create Your Digital Information Product

  8. nick catricala October 11, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    who am I? Not certain yet, not on the blogging world any way hahah 🙂

    I believe I am a mixture of personal branding and affiliate marketing just as so many others out there, I did not focus on this part as close I should have… lately have been experiencing with some affiliate marketing links on my blog.. so as you can see I am viewing a direction..

    Knowing you and Donna, is a pleasure and for certain we may connect with joining your VIP club since I need support on what you both offer 🙂

    This is a very insightful article at this time for me.. thanks so much for sharing.

    nick catricala´s last blog post ..How do you handle conflicts in life and business?

    • David Merrill 101 October 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

      What I love about “who am I” Nick, is that you haven’t tied yourself to any brand other than “you.”

      I can’t tell you how many of our clients come to us (me and Donna) with the problem of detaching themselves from a “company” or a “system” that they’ve made the central focus of their blog. For instance, one person promoted an MLM opportunity almost exclusively. She has lots of good network marketing skills and know-how, and has now dropped that company. She wants to let people know what SHE has to offer, but has spent so much time speaking only in the 3rd person vernacular about her opportunity. Nobody knows who she is! So she almost has to start all over. Not an impossible entanglement, and she’s doing what she has to to straighten out, and I know she will.

      But how much better to be known as NICK instead of a business, company or affiliate product. Now “Nick” can do anything he wants and people will listen because, hey, he’s Nick!

      PS… “VIP Club” doors are open wide for you, my friend. It’s not for everyone, but it’s Class A for those who can benefit from it.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  9. Dexter Roona October 12, 2014 at 3:52 am #

    Great post David i use a little of all 3 really, more so the affiliate marketing side… i think you really need to cover all your bases with you blog

    Regards Dexter

    • David Merrill 101 October 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      It’s good to explore all your options, for sure, Dexter.

      Many times, people get really comfortable with one business model and work almost exclusively on it. I think that’s a powerful method because you really get branded, not only for your expertise, but also for your business.

      For instance, I work with one blogger who only does product reviews for cameras and accessories. He has a deep following of people who are solidly into that niche.

      I’ve seen far too many people that spin their wheels because they have no “voice” with their readers, and it’s often because they haven’t landed on a foundational method of presentation.

      Thanks for your input, Dexter. You’re doing a great job. Keep rolling with it!
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  10. Julieanne van Zyl October 12, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    Hi David, I really like the way your Blog looks now, you did a great job! I monetize my blog mostly by building a list and also affiliate marketing. Many blogs are also created for ecommerce and are used to promote products that are sold on another website. Manalo’s Shoe blog is an excellent example of that, and his products are promoted professionally. Look forward to coming back again, bye for now, Julieanne
    Julieanne van Zyl´s last blog post ..Can you double your Click-Throughs from your homepage?

    • David Merrill 101 October 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

      Thanks for visiting today, Julieanne.

      Glad you like my new blog. It feels cleaner and simpler… I hate clutter and glitz, for myself anyway.

      I think it’s a nice model, to talk about your niche on your blog, but link to an ecommerce site from it, too. Actually, that’s what Amazon sites are all about. They typically review a product, paste up an Amazon banner for it, and if someone wants to buy it, they end up on Amazon (the ecommerce site). It’s a great model, and I’m glad you mentioned Manalo’s Shoe blog because it shows that you don’t have to have an Amazon site, to duplicate the success of the methodology.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  11. Lucy Davies October 12, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Hi David – interesting post! I haven’t really thought about the different ways of monetizing a blog in those specific categories before but I guess my blog would fall into the “Personal Branding” category. I also agree that for all of these approaches it’s a good idea to build a list alongside whatever else you’re doing. It feels like the natural next step to draw people a little closer to you. ~ Lucy
    Lucy Davies´s last blog post ..Why Your Restaurant Social Media Should Be Using Hashtags

    • David Merrill 101 October 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      It’s not only the “natural next step” Lucy, it’s the single most important step in monetizing your blog.

      Your blog is central to your entire social media presence. Your blog, along with it’s associated social media tentacles (Facebook, Twitter etc.) creates your “brand.” That entire brand is geared primarily to one thing… to attract folks who like what you’re all about, and bring them onto your private email list.

      Once they’re on your email list, they’ve qualified themselves to become your customers, clients, business partners and the like. This where the relationship deepens and matures. Until they’ve joined your list, they’re just casual observers, sometimes just lurkers. They’re not likely to be anything more than that until they commit to opting in to your list.

      Thanks for visiting today, Lucy, and for your input on this subject.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  12. Jacs Henderson October 12, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Good one David!
    I love the 3 methods you separated out – and find I am a mixture of all 3,but the key I feel is to be targeting at the right audience and providing them with content valuable to them for tips,tools,trainings and inspiration in their business.
    The list building should then follow, giving the audience a chance to get to know us better and follow our business lead to becoming a customer, because otherwise they will probably not be back to our blog.
    Finding the right audience can be the hardest thing, and social media has the people… just how to pick them! – I’m sure your webinar will sort that one out 🙂
    Jacs Henderson´s last blog post ..The Daffodil Principle…

    • David Merrill 101 October 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

      Nice to see you , Jacs.

      Targeting your audience to build a highly qualified and responsive email list is certainly the key to monetizing your blog. I’m not in favor of doing too much selling on a blog, but offering value that entices a person to join your list. That’s where the actual monetization usually occurs. Even with social media, and even Facebook Ads which are so popular now… it’s not about selling, it’s about list building.

      So yes, know your target audience better than you know yourself, then you can build a great list with your blog and social media platforms. That’s what is called building an online business!

      PS: the webinar already happened, and is now only available inside of the “VIP Club”. We run them as premium events only once for the public, then upload them to the member’s area.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Get The Best Email Marketing Results

  13. Monna Ellithorpe October 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Hi David,
    To answer your question, I don’t use Adsense but I do have some affiliate links on my site. Mostly I write and market my books, along with creating classes on self publishing so others can publish their books too.

    I do have a lot of ideas for the future but they will come in time and I am working towards the dreams I have for myself.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise.
    Monna Ellithorpe´s last blog post ..Getting Classes Ready For Book Publishing

  14. David Merrill 101 October 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Creating your own community within your blogging audience is my favorite business model, Monna. It’s a great and exciting undertaking!

    I’m not a big fan of Adsense at all. As for affiliate links, I think that once your community is rolling along, you’d be best to find ways to promote those things within your community rather than on your blog. Introduce them as added value to your own services, and I think you’ll find a more receptive audience… as long as they are congruent to the focus of your community, of course.

    Good luck in your continuing progress.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  15. Sarah Arrow October 13, 2014 at 4:48 am #

    A great read David, and I’ve never got the personal branding thing ever! Like you say “the strongest model for monetizing their blogs is rooted in list building.” personal brand or otherwise, you still need a list to communicate with people at a deeper level.
    Sarah Arrow´s last blog post ..3 tools for faster Kindle books

  16. Heather October 13, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    What AWESOME tips! I do all three and I firmly believe that it is the combination that makes bloggers successful. Passive income often results in more income than the direct sales in my case … BUT it is still income!!
    Heather´s last blog post ..Tea Tree Oil – Is it Worth the Hype?

    • David Merrill 101 October 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Glad to hear you making it happen, Heather.

      Talk is talk, but you’ve got to get down to doing the work to make things roll… so congratulations. Keep up the good work.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  17. Karen Peltier October 13, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Hi David.

    Personal branding resonates the best with me, but I have been experimenting with a few of the other methods you mention and am still trying to find the right mix. So, I found it useful to see how you broke down each one.

    I have found Google Adsense to be easy as it seems to generate ads the user may already be interested in. Affiliate marketing is a lot more challenging to use, but I think one of the more successful ways to do it is by including links within blog post content and really only promoting products/sites you believe in. I’ve also seen some sites that do have banner ads on their sidebars and it’s useful as a customer to see where you can go to shop, but honestly, I have no idea how successful the banners are from an income generation standpoint. It would be interesting to see some statistics on that.

    By the way, I missed your live webinar, “List Building Leverage With Social Media,” but I’m going to check out the recording. It sounds great!

    Karen Peltier´s last blog post ..5 Perfectly Healthy Pumpkin-Inspired Foods & Drinks for Breakfast

    • David Merrill 101 October 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      Thanks for sharing all your experiences, Karen.

      It’s good to see that you’re trying lots of different approaches. As you starting finding the ones that work best for you, then you can build that part of your business even more. It’s what they call “scaling” in the industry.

      By the way, the List Building webinar has ended, and is now only available inside of the VIP Club.

      Thanks again, for all your interesting insights.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

  18. HoudaK October 17, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Hi David. This is the first time I am on your blog and the first post I have read. I agree with you. Although I have never been a fan of MLM or network marketing, I do believe that personal branding and affiliate marketing are great ways to monetize your blog. One other thing I might add is that once you have build rapport and credibility, you may think of creating your own product. And that’s where you make the most profits. Thanks for sharing this post.
    HoudaK´s last blog post ..My Inspiration Of Today: What I Learned From Matt Bacak

    • David Merrill 101 October 18, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, HoudaK.

      I’m glad you added the “next step” in the process to making money from your blog… that’s creating your own product.

      Bloggers often think that’s an impossible task, and I will admit, it’s a chore. But it’s well worth the effort and certainly raises your whole business to an entirely new level.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..8 Steps To Create Your Digital Information Product

  19. Mustafa Gaziani October 18, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Hi David,

    It’s my first time on your blog. I’d found your blog on Donna Merrill tribe where you’d left comment.

    Great tips to monetize blog for newbies. Also, I like affiliate network this is one of best way to earn handsome amount to spend life.

    I found this post very useful. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Keep visiting your blog for more stuff.
    Mustafa Gaziani´s last blog post ..The Ultimate Guide to Get More Social Shares on Post #Infographic

    • David Merrill 101 October 28, 2014 at 11:57 am #

      Nice to have you here, Mustafa.

      Affiliate marketing is a powerful model that bloggers employ to earn profits and commissions as bloggers.

      I think the mistake a lot of affiliate marketers make, though, is in putting far too much effort into branding other peoples’ businesses, and far too little in branding themselves.

      As a dedicated affiliate marketer, you need to use your blog to get people to know you… not just the products you promote. The more they come to know you, the more they will trust clicking your affiliate links and buying from you.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  20. Sarah Wainwright October 19, 2014 at 6:06 am #

    Hi David,

    I believe that the blog I am creating is a mixture of Network Marketing and Affiliate Marketing and I am attempting to brand myself and build relationships with my audience by offering helpful tips and advice and recommended tools and services that they can use to grow their home based business.
    I am trying the list building method but so far not getting many signups directly from my blog.
    I have more success generating leads from facebook so far.

    Thanks for sharing I will be back to check out more of your posts

    Sarah Wainwright´s last blog post ..Why You Need To Have Your Own Blog

    • David Merrill 101 October 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

      Sounds like you’re doing things with the right balance, Sarah.

      It’s a bit tough building a list with your blog if it focuses too much on your primary opportunity and affiliate tools. The more it develops broad-stroke themes concerning your niche, and especially things that directly solve an immediate problem for your audience… the more likely you are to capture their subscription.

      Using Facebook in conjunction with your blog is a great way to go, too. Just be sure to get people from Facebook to your email list, and then link back frequently from your emails to your blog posts. That will enhance the relationship and engage them more fully in what you’re doing.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Get The Best Email Marketing Results

  21. Dr. Erica Goodstone October 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm #


    I really would like to combine all 3, but at the moment I have only 1 network marketing product and I have not been doing much with it, except personal use. And I am an affiliate for many products that I have not yet promoted. First, I have worked to establish my brand/s and now I am adding the affiliate pieces.

    Dr. Erica

    • David Merrill 101 October 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

      Establishing your brand is the most important thing to do, Dr. Erica.

      So you’ve got the priorities in order, for sure.

      Ideally, you can work your affiliate products and maybe even your networking opportunity into a seemless tie-in to your brand.

      So if your brand was to be a nutrition expert, you might start weaving affiliate health information and products into your blog posts at the relevant points. The idea is to make your offers congruent with your brand, not a separate thing altogether.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  22. Shelley Alexander October 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    David, some great advice as usual! I do a mix of all three and I have been really working on building my personal brand and my email list for over 2 years. I only recommend products on my site using affiliate links that I have personally used and know that they work and can help my blog readers and potential clients get results.
    Shelley Alexander´s last blog post ..Creamy Dark Chocolate Pecan Coconut Butter

    • David Merrill 101 October 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      I like your approach to affiliate marketing, Shelley.

      Bloggers are often hesitant to linking to affiliate products in their posts because they believe their information has value to their readers, but the link to a product only has value to themselves.

      If you really believe in the products you affiliate, and have used them and know they work as you say… then sharing that information as well as links to obtaining them… should also be seen as giving value, not just in selling stuff.

      This process is then supported in your emails, which repeat the value, link back to your blog posts, and even link to the products right within the email copy.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Get The Best Email Marketing Results

  23. Christine Adindu November 2, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    Thank you for breaking it down for us. I tend to mix them up. I add a little bit of all 3.
    Currently I leaning towards personal branding. That is really what comes first for all.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Christine Adindu´s last blog post ..Article Marketing Techniques That Will Help You Get The Most Money

    • David Merrill 101 November 12, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

      I think we all mix them in different ways, Christine.

      It’s not that any one method is better than the others, or that we all have to use the same formula for success.

      It’s a matter of finding that good balance, and finding what works best for us.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Building An Online Business

  24. Joan Harrington November 7, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Hi David,

    Thank you for this fantastic valuable post on the 3 ways that bloggers make money 🙂 You have broken down each way in such a detailed way that if I was not already a blogger I would definately take a closer look into each one 🙂

    Nice share 🙂
    Joan Harrington´s last blog post ..How To Write Persuasive Landing Page Content

    • David Merrill 101 November 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

      Glad you found it valuable, Joan.

      It is really important that new bloggers be aware of these different methods, so they know what they want to focus on. Too many times, people jump into blogging with only half a notion of what they want to do. So often, they end up changing that focus later on down the road. Then they have to pretty much re-invent themselves.

      But it’s surprising, too, how many well established bloggers ask me to help them figure out what their business model should be. It’s really a never ending process, as our blogs are always a work in progress… whether we’re new to the game, or old pros.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  25. Siphosith November 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    I like the way you have broken these down and makes it very easy to understand and take action. When you new in internet marketing it is very easy to mix these up. Thanks for the share, I have learned a lot.
    Siphosith´s last blog post ..4 Tips For Networking With Other Bloggers

    • David Merrill 101 November 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      While I describe these 3 methods independent of each other, they are often used in combination with each other.

      Glad you found this helpful, Siphosith, and hope you’re putting some of these things to good use.

      Good luck with it.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Mentoring For Online Success

  26. victoria m. November 10, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    Personal branding is what I have been using up until now and am finding it more complicated than it needs to be. I haven’t quite gotten into affiliate marketing because I feel like it would be pointless with the amount of traffic I generate for my website. As I am learning SEO and blog promotion strategies, affiliate marketing may just become my next approach! Thank you for sharing this as I am constantly looking for ways to monetize my blog.
    victoria m.´s last blog post ..How to Become Successful at the Blink of an Eye

    • David Merrill 101 November 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      It looks like you’re branding yourself as a personal development consultant, Victoria.

      You’re doing a nice job with your blog in that regards.

      As for monetizing, you might want to think in terms of bringing folks onto your list with a free offer, then put them through a sales funnel that opens with a very low priced product (maybe a $7 ebook), and opens into higher ticket back end offers.

      The idea is to gain trust as people consume your lower end items, so that they will be comfortable moving gradually into higher end products like your coaching programs.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..8 Steps To Create Your Digital Information Product

  27. Zach November 15, 2014 at 12:56 am #

    I just finished my first eBook and am trying to figure out the best way to use it to collect email addresses so I can send out some targeted email marketing. I’m new to the “use your blog to make you money” thing, so I appreciate the insight. Based on my business, I think personal branding is probably the method that makes the most sense for what I’m doing.
    Zach´s last blog post ..Car Seat Laws in Nevada

    • David Merrill 101 November 18, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

      I check your blog quickly, Zach.

      It’s nice, has a lot of content and is well presented and thorough.

      I can’t say that I saw any list building offers. Maybe your eBook (I assume it’s a free offer) hasn’t had the ink dry yet, and you’re just trying to find a place to use it.

      Without knowing the nature of the eBook, I’m not sure how you might position in within the marketplace. Just a thought is to find forums and Facebook groups where you might be able to drop the offer, or even boost some Facebook posts offering it. If you have a FB page, that’s a great place to start building your list with well-placed apps.

      You’re on the right path it seems, but again, I’m a bit in the dark for steering you too specifically.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Mentoring For Online Success

  28. Leanne Chesser November 27, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    I use all three methods, but my primary one is personal branding. And your tips at the end about knowing your target audience, creating quality content, consistently producing content, building relationships and building your list are essential. I agree. I’d also add that you need to know yourself and express that through your business. You need to brand you.
    Leanne Chesser´s last blog post ..The Me & You Manifesto

  29. Gaurav December 4, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    Hello David,

    You have explained very informative tips about blogging and money,
    I agree with your all points, especially network marketing and Affiliate marketing.
    Affiliate marketing is helping me alot to earn money from blogging.

    Thanks for sharing these useful ideas.

    Gaurav´s last blog post ..Did you try these effective lead generation ideas for your business

  30. William Earl Amis Jr III December 14, 2014 at 1:45 am #


    Merry Christmas!

    Yes, the list and that is known offline and online. No one can get away without a loyal list. You will start to see it develop and most is from really interacting with people.

    I have a master list of thousands. Yet, setup a profile for everyone I ever meet. It is a live process I created. Making sure to keep in touch is key. Not to sell anything. To engage with them as a friend. Knowing if any interest has changed. Listening more than anything else.

    It will happen when they decide they need my support in an area. Naturally, with so many people. I keep a solid nice consistent flow of support.

    My list will only end growth. When, I ascend. There is no stopping in what I love to do. I have been blessed to find my purpose and live it each day.

    Thank you David for sharing this article which brings comfort to my heart!
    William Earl Amis Jr III´s last blog post ..Got To Have A Beginning

  31. Varsha Singh February 27, 2015 at 4:42 am #


    Thanks for sharing this great information article. This is the most effective way to know and learn how make money Online. These 3 tips will be very useful and helpful. Read and understand the article and you will get a brilliant idea. I will share this information with my friends and they will certainly love to read this. Very informative.
    Varsha Singh´s last blog post ..Backrubs, Mentalplex & Burning Man: 26 Crazy Facts You Never Knew About Google [Infographic]

  32. MINHAJ UDDIN November 10, 2015 at 1:15 am #

    Hi David,

    Making good money from blog is a dream for every blogger. 3 ways you listed in this article are most liked by bloggers. Affiliate marketing is good choice to make some long time income from blog. I am deciding to start affiliate marketing. I hope i can get good results from affiliate program.

    Anyway, this post is very useful for me. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful post with us.

    Keep it up.
    MINHAJ UDDIN´s last blog post ..DoFollow 101+Forum posting sites list in 2015 high PR 9-2 Free

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