Beginner’s Guide: Making money – what sources of income are there?

May 1, 2018

Making money with your own blog isn't that hard. The sources of income we present here are suitable for every kind of website.

Being a blogger or influencer has evolved from a hobby to a serious profession in recent years.

With blogging it is now much easier to earn an extra income or even make a living from it completely.

The sources of income are initially divided into different categories:

  1. Affiliate Marketing
  2. Advertising
  3. Paid Links
  4. Digital Products
  5. Physical Products
  6. Services

Let us now take a closer look at the individual sources of income.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the preferred and most profitable sources of income.

Products or services that you use and use yourself can be highlighted without having to do any work or care for the products yourself.

Partner programs can be integrated very quickly and also have a high conversion rate if the topics are relevant.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

As an affiliate, you promote someone else's product or service to your readers.

The advertised product is linked via a unique link, also called RefID. This can take the form of a text link, an advertising banner or a popup.

If someone now clicks on this link and carries out a desired action, you will receive a payment.

How do I find suitable affiliate programs?

There are thousands of affiliate programs, some of the best known include Amazon and ebay.

You can find many different affiliate programs on affiliate networks:

Affiliate directories help you to find a special affiliate program:

What types of remuneration are there?

  • Pay per Sale - the advertiser receives a one-time payment per successfully sold product.
  • Pay per Click - the advertiser receives a one-time fee per successfully measured click on the link.
  • Pay per Lead - the advertiser receives a one-time fee per successful registration for a newsletter, competition or account.
  • Pay per View - the advertiser receives a one-time payment for each successfully brokered video sale. The user only pays for actually seen content.
  • Pay per Install - the advertiser receives a one-time fee per successful installation. The most common application example is the use of demo versions.
  • Pay per Lifetime - the advertiser receives an ongoing fee per successfully referred customer. This remuneration can be paid monthly or annually.

An affiliate program provider can also combine two or more compensation models.

As with our affiliate, for example, each advertiser receives a pay per sale fee and an additional pay per lifetime fee.


When selecting your affiliate programs, make sure that they can be used over the long term.

Some partner programs are only operated for 1 or 2 years, if these are not exactly trend topics, the changeover to another partner involves manual effort.

Always prefer lifetime rewards to other types of rewards.

Pay per Lifetime remuneration is lower than pay per sale.

But if it can be assumed that the advertised partner will use this product or service over several years, then one does not have to be a computing genius, in order to recognize with which kind of the remuneration ultimately more can be earned.

Even today, we still receive four-digit lifetime rewards from partner programs every year, although we have not actively promoted them for more than 10 years, nor do the websites created for them at the time still exist.

2. Advertising

Companies want to place their product with potential customers.

They may be interested in advertising on your website, as long as your readers are among the target groups.

Here are 6 ways to integrate advertising into your blog:

2.1. Advertisements

The global player among the advertisements is Google Adsense.

Google offers over a dozen different ad sizes, so there should be the right size for every blog.

Integration has recently become even easier with the new automatic Google ads.

Automatic ads can be used separately or in combination with Google ads.

Google scans your website, finds appropriate ad placements, and delivers ads if we believe they will perform well and will not impact the user experience.

Pros of automatic display:

  • Easy to use: The same ad code only needs to be inserted once on each page. Google will take care of the rest.
  • Intelligent delivery: The ads are delivered through AdSense when good performance without compromising the user experience is expected.
  • Potential revenue growth: Automatic ads can be used separately or in combination with Google ads. If additional monetization placements are available on the site, they can be detected through automatic ads.

A good alternative or supplement to Google Adsense is Plista, through the use of native advertising the provider convinces with a high user acceptance.

Plista also remunerates on a click basis.

2.2. Advertising banners

Banner ads can be placed flexibly in many places on your website.

However, it is difficult to find suitable advertising partners. It can therefore be very helpful to let direct competitors show you a few ideas.

Offering banner ads on your own website usually only makes sense if your blog already has enough traffic.

There are a few providers who can support you in marketing, e.g. BuySellAds, Blogfoster and Adshopping.

2.3. Paid posts

Or also called sponsored posts, the publication of which is paid for by a company.

In it, products or services of the company are presented or shown.

How much you can earn with paid posts depends on the quality of your website.

In former times the Pagerank was used as a quality approach, but it was crushed by Google, so that today a multitude of factors play a role.

Domainboosting and Blogmission are well-known providers through which you can get such orders.

2.4. Test reports and Advertorials

An advertorial is the editorial preparation of an advertisement, which should give the appearance of an editorial contribution.

The advertorial is one of the forms of advertising that cannot be clearly assigned by the addressee to advertising or public relations work.

A test report is similar to an advertorial or a paid contribution.

The only difference is that a product or service is still being tested here and then reported on.

2.5. Giveaways and Reviews

Similar to the test reports, except that a free product is provided as payment.

Afterwards you write an experience report or test report, depending on what was agreed upon.

Such assignments can be particularly exciting if you write a travel blog.

In the past we have been able to test wellness hotels free of charge for 2-3 days with full board.

In return, a short video of max. 5 minutes was made about the wellness hotel, which was distributed on the YouTube channel and blog.

2.6. Newsletter and Video Sponsoring

Advertising in newsletters in the form of banners and links or mini advertising in videos or podcast episodes.

However, these can also be quite banal in the background, which are perceived as non-obvious advertising (surreptitious advertising).

3. Paid Links

For bloggers, selling or renting links in their own blog is a lucrative way to earn money.

When renting, the payment is made monthly or annually, when selling once.

Links are still very important to improve the ranking of websites in search engines.

Companies often have difficulties to get backlinks relevant to the topic.

Today, however, the trend goes from sidebar links or footer links to content links.

Backlinks and SeedingUp are among the most important providers.

The pros is that higher revenues can be generated after a short time. Links can also be added to the blog very quickly.

The cons is that Google does not like to see link sales or link rent and with corresponding anomalies this can result in a punishment.

Therefore, when implementing it, be careful not to overdo it and not to advertise it publicly.

4. Digital Products

Who already has higher traffic on his blog, can fall back on further worthwhile sources of income.

Many bloggers create and sell their own digital products using digistore24 sales channel.

The pros is that little to no investment capital is required, so there is little to no financial risk.

The cons is that a certain degree of awareness within the niche is required. It is also very complex to create exclusive content.

Examples of digital products created by bloggers:

  • E-Books
  • E-Learning
  • Online courses and workshops
  • Premium Content
  • Pictures
  • Audio and Videos
  • Membership Page

Digital products are an exciting affair for your fans.

To position yourself as an expert in the long term, you should offer at least one of these products.

5. Physical Products

The sale of own products can be worthwhile itself that show many examples of Bloggern over it completely openly report.

The implementation of own products can sometimes involve a lot of work and high investment costs.

The pros is that it generates significantly higher revenues than other methods and is not dependent on advertising partners.

The cons is, increased support effort and more administration effort, as well as more effort by the goods dispatch.

Some examples of own physical products:

  • Books
  • Handmade Products
  • Manufactured Products
  • Retail Products

Inform yourself sufficiently about the production, the storage, the dispatch, the return and the legal conditions which are necessary for it before the conversion.

6. Services

Offering services is an excellent way to make money quickly because the start-up costs are low.

Some bloggers, by being known in their niche, can offer paid services. These can be offered locally or virtually.

The pros is that little or no inventory is needed as you will be paid for your skills.

The cons is that it is not scalable.

What services could be offered, for example?

Consulting activities

Similar to digital products, this works best in consulting niches such as online marketing, fitness, finance, e-commerce, self-publishing or self-help.

Consultancy activities can in most cases be carried out anywhere via Skype, telephone or e-mail.


Coaching can be offered on a long-term or short-term basis. This also includes seminars, conferences or training courses.

In contrast to consulting, no direct solution proposals are provided by the coach, but the development of own solutions is accompanied.

Speakers at Events

Speakers on specific topics are invited to many trade fairs, events and functions, who then share their expert knowledge with viewers for a few hours or redeslots.

Organize Courses

Your blog is all about barbecuing, so it's easy to offer barbecue courses here.

Organizing courses is mainly suitable for topics that have to be smelled, tasted or implemented by hand.


Use as many sources of income as possible and don't just focus on one particular one.

Also remember not to overlay your readers with advertising.

Making money is one thing, losing readers is another. The middle way is often a good solution.

Exciting content is the key to long-term success.

Every blogger has different sources of income. There is no right or wrong, that is the beauty of it.

There are no limits to the possibilities, find the right sources of income for you.

Avoid copying other bloggers 1:1. Microsoft is not Apple and Apple is not Microsoft either.

Find your unique selling proposition (USP) and perform an A/B test to find out which advertising is most popular with your readers.

What you can learn from successful bloggers, don't blog just to make money.

Identify yourself with your topic, put it into practice with passion and commitment.

Earning money then comes of its own accord.

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Jamie Kleven
Since his youth he has been fascinated by the world of digital media. He quickly realizes that on the basis of this digitality, much more is possible than just pastime or simple research.
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