Make Money Online

A Guide to Make Money Online From Personal Blogs

Financial advice is always in demand, which make money online and investing an excellent blog niche. Bloggers can influence readers’ financial decisions positively by helping them make smarter choices. Having insightful content aligned with the values and mission of a blogger can lead to multiple income streams.

Creating significant income can take years, if not decades. There is one trait that bloggers with money-making websites all share: perseverance. In order to build an audience, write thoughtful articles, and follow blogging best practices, you must be consistent and continuous. Before becoming profitable, most bloggers lose motivation. A blogger’s website can be used to amplify their voice and boost their income and career prospects.

In order to establish an online presence, a website is the first step. Best bloggers usually find a way to earn that’s unique to their skills once they’re out there sharing their point of view. It is true that most successful bloggers make money online by creating excellent online resources and following well-established writing and marketing techniques. You’re going to learn how I make money online blogging about personal finance in today’s post.

Why I Started My Blog

Make money online was the primary reason I started to Retire Before Dad. Although many personal finance bloggers are wary of admitting this, I have always been upfront about it. It is inevitable that bloggers will burn out if they don’t earn money somehow from their writing and website maintenance.

In addition to writing, I’ve learned how important it is to help others. The satisfaction I get from helping people make better financial decisions is far greater than what I get from my day job. Additionally, my blog has served as a creative outlet since my career isn’t all that exciting. It makes sense to use blogging as a business model.

  • A low start-up cost
  • The system is easily scalable
  • Potential audience (many people have questions about money)
  • Multiple sources of revenue

Over time, I grew to prefer writing about broader financial topics. My audience and content shifted in that direction, which opened up more opportunities for growth and monetization. Compared to other early retirement and investing blogs, Retire Before Dad doesn’t have a large monthly audience. In spite of this, I continue to write useful articles to assist new readers in improving their financial security if I can help a small group of people.

The secret to make money online with a blog is to offer insightful content. I’m glad to make the plunge in this running because it’s my passion. I was able to support my family when I lost my job, and as a result, I made hundreds of intriguing friends.

The Basics

Over 30% of the world’s websites use WordPress, a free and open-source blogging software. It is easy for anyone with basic computer skills to run a website using WordPress. Bloggers should first create content (blog posts) people want to read. Then drive traffic to the content in whatever way they can. Search engines, social media, referrals, RSS feeds, and email lists bring in traffic.

The majority of website visitors leave very quickly after arriving. However, some visitors remain and take actions that allow the blogger to make money online. An advertisement, a link, a button, or a visual starts with a click or tap. The majority of clicks are worth little or nothing. However, only a small percentage of clicks will result in conversions or revenue. Generally speaking, personal finance bloggers that make money online directly from their blogs through display ads, affiliate sales, and product sales.

The most common type of advertisement is display advertising. Everyone sees these ads in sidebars or when scrolling through an article on their phone. The next level of blog monetization is affiliate sales. A blog post may contain links or graphics linking to external sites where partners pay if the visitor becomes a customer. Lastly, experienced bloggers may move into product sales, creating premium content for direct sale. Personal finance products can include online courses, eBooks, spreadsheets, and printable.

The income funnel starts at the top with the easiest income potential (lowest income potential), and ends at the bottom with the highest income potential (highest income potential). The following section will go into more detail about each of these three monetization strategies. But they’re just the start. A blog can be used to make money in the real world and leverage an online presence.

How Blogs Make Money

There is always a change in the rules of online commerce, so bloggers need to adapt as well. Creating reliable income streams requires bloggers to find what works for them. Similarly to investing, it is important to diversify income streams to avoid becoming overly dependent on one income stream. Multi-stream income is earned by mature blogs.

Here are 11 ways to make money with a blog in the personal finance and investing niche. It includes strategies for earning money both directly and indirectly. Bloggers can earn money outside of their blogs through indirect earnings.

1. Display Advertising

Display advertising is the most logical monetization strategy for a blog. Bloggers can make money online by placing ads on their blogs. Online advertising is dominated by Google. Almost any blog can use Google Adsense. After signing up, just copy and paste a snippet of code to your blog, and the ads will appear. Visitors to a website are automatically presented with an ad by algorithms every time they arrive.

Bloggers can earn anywhere from a penny to a few dollars if a visitor clicks on an ad. The number of clicks is relatively low, so it takes decent traffic to earn more than a few pennies. Bloggers can upgrade to more competitive payout rates when their blogs reach certain monthly page view thresholds (25k, 100k). For my display ads, I use a company called Media vine empowers bloggers to become full-time entrepreneurs.

In RPM terms, you earn revenue per 1000 page views, which is what revenue per mile means. Bloggers can earn $5-$25 per 1,000 page views depending on many factors (time of year, article topic). Newer blogs may start below that range. In a month, 40,000 pageviews can earn you $200-$1000. My earnings these days are $10-$20 per 1,000 page views, even when someone visits an old article. Readers can be distracted by ads, however. New blog posts will not have ads for the first two days, so email subscribers won’t see them. Having published new articles twice a week for six months, I implemented display ads. Three months later, I earned my first $100.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Bloggers may explore affiliate marketing once they have some search and social media traffic, as well as regular readers. A blogger’s affiliate marketing involves mentioning and recommending products on their blog. Our sites contain affiliate links. A referral payment may be paid to the referring blogger if visitors click on the links and purchase or register for a service.

There’s nothing like saying, “RBD sent me” to make money online. Creating win-win-win partnerships is the key to affiliate marketing success – when a blogger promotes a product or service that benefits the reader, the partnering brand, and the blogger. For example, I’ve been an affiliate for Empower for a long time (that’s an affiliate link). I use it almost every day as a net worth calculator and an aggregator of investment accounts.

Readers love it, Empower gets new users, and I get a referral payment when some users link their accounts. Affiliate programs are usually administered by third-parties for personal finance companies. It is the third parties who create URLs, track clicks and links, make payments, and handle taxes.

Affiliate platforms for personal finance bloggers include Flex Offers (where Empower is located), Impact, and CJ. Customers are paid between a few dollars and a few hundred dollars, depending on their value to a brand. New fintech apps and survey companies targeting young people pay the least. High-net-worth investing platforms and credit card companies compensate the most.

I wrote an article about affiliate programs and blogging resources. Building a sustainable business requires diversifying affiliate partners. The first conversion I made was for LOYAL3. After ten months of blogging, it happened.

3. Product Sales

Affiliate marketing is constantly changing. Income can be unpredictable as partners come and go. Creating blog-branded electronic products for sale on their website is the next step for bloggers looking to gain more control. Instead of selling other people’s products, they sell their own. Most popular are ebooks and online courses. To earn good profits, bloggers can use their background and knowledge.

Diversify income with products. Your affiliate program will allow you to sell your products through other bloggers. The upfront time investment would detract from my regular blog posts, so I’ve never created a product. Success isn’t guaranteed. To take my blog to the next level, it’s probably something I should invest time in.

4. Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are when a PR firm, marketer, or brand reaches out to a blogger about a specific topic. A blogger receives dozens of sponsorship requests a month. It’s usually a digital marketer hoping to link back to a website with URLs (which builds search engine credibility).

Bloggers’ audiences can also benefit from sponsored posts. Depending on the blog’s authority, audience size, and niche, the price range varies. Getting content on a popular sourdough bread blog would be extremely lucrative for a boutique yeast company. I’ve only done one sponsored post in six years of blogging. A company paid me $1,000 to promote a relevant but forgettable online product. Publish an uninteresting article and risk alienating regular readers was the trade-off (make money online). It took $1,000 to tip the scales.

5. Voluntary Donations

There are some bloggers who don’t want their blogs cluttered with ads. Affiliate marketing turns off readers for some, so they avoid integrating it into their content. Rather than asking readers for make money online, they ask them to donate. This can be accomplished primarily through Patron. Another membership platform is Only Fans. Bloggers can make monthly contributions through Patron, just like your local NPR.

By creating different support level tiers, the blogger allows readers to decide whether to become contributors. Rather than running ads on my site, I could ask readers to donate $5, automatically charged to their credit cards each month.

My guess is that only a handful of regular readers would agree to pay me $5 per month. I would be able to build income streams with a recurring payment, but I would not be able to increase excess cash flow if I eliminated recurring expenses. My brand doesn’t fit Patron and I don’t need it to earn.

6. Subscription-based Blogs

Recurring revenue is one of the holy grails of online entrepreneurship. Providing users with enough value to pay for a service that they subscribe to. As an example, I subscribe to the Sure Dividend Newsletter (and I am an affiliate) and listen to Options Alpha’s founder explain the business model on the SPI podcast.

In general, there’s a free component, but they ask for payment for premium buy and sell recommendations. It is more like running an online business than a blog, but subscription-based blogs often produce regular fresh content to keep readers interested.

7. Freelance Writing

Bloggers often make money indirectly through freelance writing. It is possible for the writer to showcase their style through their website and pursue paid writing gigs without waiting for the blog to grow large enough to generate income. You can help other websites by writing fresh articles when you have established a portfolio of writing in a certain niche. Using the blog as a launchpad is not directly profitable for you.

Many writers want to know how much they will earn for their writing time. Working from home as a freelance writer provides good writers with a steady income and a flexible schedule. Writing gigs don’t just appear. Before expanding their reach, writers must reach out to editors, attend conferences, and start small. Personal finance freelance writers typically earn $40-$100 per 1000 words. Writing for RBD is something I prefer to do over writing for paid sites.

8. Become a Published Author

Many writers dream of becoming published authors. Several successful bloggers I know have gotten book deals from publishers through their blogs, including Tanja, Chad, and Chris. An online blog is a collection of self-published writing that helps to build an audience and showcase writing ability. Book publishers love partnering with bloggers because they see their potential and have a well-established promotional platform.

Amazon makes it straightforward for you to self-publish books for print and download if you can’t get a book deal. I know a blogger who outlines a book first. Then he writes one chapter at a time and posts it to his blog. After writing all the blog posts, he creates an Ebook and sells it on Amazon.

Because Amazon buyers don’t know he already published it online, he monetizes his writing on multiple platforms. Using multiple platforms to share content is another strategy for increasing influence, page views, and monetization.

9. Podcasting

Some bloggers have switched from blogs to other mediums. A podcast is a great way to build a new audience and reuse previously written content. Blogs don’t go away, but they serve as a way for people to learn more about podcasters. You can monetize a listener’s visit by serving ads, converting them to affiliates, or selling products through your website.

Podcast hosts often recommend affiliate links on their podcasts. Typing that link is the same as clicking a desktop or mobile affiliate link. Sponsorships are another way podcasters can make money online.

10. YouTube

Creating video content using blog material is similar to how podcasting works with blogs. Bloggers reach new audiences when they share their content on YouTube.

It is possible for YouTubers to create visually appealing content like screen shares and graphics that are more telling than just screenshots on a blog post. In this area, I’ve considered supplementing specific blog posts with videos, but haven’t yet found the motivation. Content creators earn money by displaying ads on YouTube videos.

11. Speaking

Speaking for a living is not for everyone. Speaking opportunities are always available in most blogging niches with practice and persistence. Earning a full-time income takes time and experience, but it is possible.

In order to pursue speaking gigs, you should have a blog and a book published. One blogger I know received more than $20,000 for one 45-minute speaking engagement at a large investment bank. That’s the high end. Depending on the client, most paid gigs range from $500 to $5,000.

How Personal Finance Bloggers get Website Traffic

You can’t build it and they will come with blogging. The key to getting readers is hard work. First, write high-quality content that solves a reader’s problem or entertains them. After that, promote. Then write again – and promote again. By focusing more on content rather than promotion, bloggers can increase page authority and social media channels over time. Bloggers receive traffic in a variety of ways.

Email List

Creating an email list of subscribers is the first step in building a blog audience. In contrast to social media followers and search traffic, bloggers own their email lists. From day one, you can collect emails using free email marketing software. For an annual fee, I use a service called ConvertKit, which provides basic segmentation and automation features for free. Every time I publish a new blog post, I send an email to subscribers. Furthermore, I send new subscribers an automated email sequence to introduce them to my blog, and I can send special announcements and offers directly to my list.

Referral Traffic

Commenting on other blogs’ articles written in a similar niche is one of the simplest but most effective ways to drive early traffic to your site. Almost daily, I commented on dividend blogs for about two years. I received a few visitors each day because of those comments. It was only a handful or so per day at first. That was winning for me, though. My relationships with other bloggers led to featured articles, links, and real-life connections.

Referral traffic is when someone visits a website through another website. As my traffic grew from other sources, commenting became ineffective. It’s a great way to establish relationships with your audience and develop relationships with new bloggers.

Search Traffic (SEO)

Search traffic monetizes blogs the most because the visitors are searching for something specific, often with the intent to purchase. It may take a few months for Google and other search engines to take notice of a blog that has been around for a while and is producing quality posts.

Getting free traffic from Google based on keywords is the goal of search engine optimization (SEO). Using search engines, people search for keywords. It is more likely that Google will send traffic to a website that is established and legitimate. By getting links from other websites, specifically those with high page authority, bloggers can increase the authority of their pages.

There are several tools available to help bloggers target keywords. I use a paid SEO tool called Long Tail Pro to determine what topics to write about that will appeal to my audience and might help me rank on Google. While Google and others offer free tools to help frame content strategies, I have found the paid versions to be worth the investment.

Social Media

Social media followers can be leveraged by bloggers to drive traffic. Friends and family may be the first to get involved. Over time, bloggers need followers who are genuinely interested in their topics and viewpoints. Since I saw a lot of other bloggers on Twitter, I started building a following there first. Nevertheless, Pinterest, Facebook, and probably now Instagram are all good places to promote blog posts.

Blog traffic began to grow rapidly after the great recession as a result of social media. Due to social media’s ability to reduce Google’s influence, it helps level the playing field. Today, bloggers focus on building their social media brands and presence, which enables them to share content and drive free traffic.

Building a blog requires a large following, but engagement is more important. A compelling title and eye-catching image are usually the keys to getting readers to visit a blog. For online entrepreneurs, social media is another low-cost asset. There is a whole industry of paid advertising on the dominant sites (and search engines). In order to attract readers and customers, new websites with a budget can invest in ads. In addition to sharing content on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, I run low-cost ads on Facebook to generate traffic.


YouTube is a great way to increase blog earnings and drive traffic to a blog. This is a complementary platform for content. Bloggers have pivoted to become YouTube creators, but never abandoned their blogs because they remain their home base. You must have a home base since YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can change policies or suspend your account at any time.

Bloggers can also be guests on established YouTube channels to promote their websites. Therefore, it makes sense to concentrate on YouTube creation in order to create blog traffic and develop another revenue stream.


Bloggers sometimes create podcasts in order to form a more personal relationship with their audience and reach a broader audience. You can also grow traffic and readership by becoming a guest on established podcasts. It’s easy to find podcasts in nearly every niche, so if you approach smaller shows that have guests, there’s a chance you’ll be interviewed.

The Choose podcast, which has a large following, invited me to be a guest in 2020. Readers tell me they first heard about my blog on that podcast.

Media Mentions

Media mentions are another effective way to drive traffic to a website. Getting featured in newspapers and large financial sites builds influence and backlinks for bloggers. Links to major websites build SEO authority, and the reach is potentially thousands of readers.

Building relationships through networking in person or Facebook groups is one way to secure a feature. You can also become a contributor to a major news outlet which can increase traffic and exposure.

I have written several dozen articles for U.S. News & World Report. It was through these articles that I was introduced to thousands of readers, some of whom have continued to subscribe to my email newsletter. While writing for Seeking Alpha, I also covered stocks. I received payment and RBD received traffic. The following is a list of previous articles and RBD features.

Conclusion – How Blogs Make Money

One of the old jokes in blogging is that you can make money online by blogging about blogging. It is not for everyone to blog. Due to the fact that I have used my blog to generate an income stream, I thought many of you would be interested in how blogs generate income. Blogging is a small initial commitment that can open doors. Many apprehensive entrepreneurs have been helped by it.

In my Digi Blogger Network we explain How to Start an Online Business. If you want to start a blog, you can do so on or purchase a hosting plan from a WordPress-focused host such as Big Scoots (who I use right now). In order to use plugins and monetization strategies, you need a hosting plan. Start writing and publishing your work – you’ll learn the minimum techie stuff along the way. The proliferation of blogs over the years shows that starting a blog is relatively easy.

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